The War Tapes

97 minutes

The best documentary I've seen to date about the military occupation of Iraq, this digital feature was shot there by five national guardsmen from New Hampshire. The narrative focuses on three of them: one grew up in Lebanon, speaks Arabic, and plans to reenlist; another thinks the war is about oil and describes his nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder; the third argues that he's fighting for democracy, but he's taking medication for his nerves and his wife insists he's no longer the same person. Director Deborah Scranton and producer-editor Steve James (Hoop Dreams) don't foist any particular thesis on us, but they arrange the material so we're obliged to think about it, and the feeling of immediacy is constant.

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