The Ground Truth

Heartbreaking, infuriating, and above all patriotic, this documentary by Patricia Foulkrod gives voice to American soldiers who've returned from Iraq disgusted with the war, haunted by their own actions, and profoundly alienated from the people who sent them. Following a merciless chronology from recruitment to discharge, Foulkrod focuses on the emotional price paid by Iraq vets; nothing else I've seen about the war better articulates the culture of savagery that helps a soldier survive on the ground but leaves him to wrestle alone with his conscience. The vets also deliver a withering indictment of a military bureaucracy that tries to erase combat trauma victims, diagnosing them with personality disorders or even refusing to discharge the more seriously afflicted. It's become a critical cliche to say that everyone in the U.S. should see a particular war documentary, but even the most selfish citizen might want to check out The Ground Truth, because unlike the Iraqi victims of the war, the American ones are all around us. R, 72 min.

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