Off to War is supposed to be a documentary looking at an Arkansas National Guard unit with the issues they face in Iraq and their loved ones left behind. For the most part, the people are interesting and they have some interesting stories to tell. What is troubling is the fact that the filmmakers clear anti-Iraq war view is evident throughout the movie. Having been a veteran of a modern peacekeeping operation, I can understand soldiers' frustrations. Soldiers always complain. It is the natural order of things. There is not enough context explaining the overall mission, what they are accomplishing, and that many times they are venting frustrations.
The filmmakers message is constant: The Iraq war is pointless. These poor people have to fight. Bush is to blame. We need to leave. They go out of their way to solicit negative opinions about the war at home and there. It is a shame the officers of the unit were not more careful about letting this crew film soldiers' venting. I can tell you that if we had a documentary at D-Day or Gettysburg, the men would be fairly critical of just about everything. These are not views that people at home understand. Soldiers complain, but it NEVER gets in the way of accomplishing the mission, or finishing the job. End of story.
It is not fair catching soldiers at their most frustrated and acting like that is their feelings the whole time, rather than getting when they feel they are making a difference. I feel bad for these soldiers getting exploited by the filmmakers and wish their officers had put more control over this clearly negative propaganda. This is not "The Real World" This is war and people fighting for our country. It would be nice to give them support and respect without exploiting them.
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