The annual top ten lists of critic Amy Taubin since 1987.
The War Tapes
Straight from the front lines in Iraq, THE WAR TAPES is the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves. These soldiers bypassed Pentagon supervised media to share their experience like never before. Funnier, spicier, and more gut wrenching than news reports, this is Operation Iraqi Freedom as filmed by Sergeant Steve Pink, Sergeant Zack Bazzi and Specialist Mike Moriarty. Steve is a wisecracking carpenter who aspires to be a writer. Zack is a Lebanese-American university student who loves to travel and is fluent in Arabic. Mike is a father who seeks honor and redemption. Each leaves a woman behind - a girlfriend, a mother and a wife. Through their candid footage, these men open their hearts and take us on an unforgettable journey, capturing camaraderie and humor along with the brutal and terrifying experiences they face. These soldiers got the story that 2,700 embedded reporters never could.
While on the same subject as Gunner Palace, it manages to tell the story in a much more coherent and compelling way. I found it very interesting how clearly you could see the change in the people after they got home.
POIGNANT..AN IRAQ WAR SOLIDER PERSPECTIVE
Cuts down the Iraq footage to the bare essentials, presenting us with an alternate universe of car bombs, dismembered bodies, low morale, a fight between a scorpion and a spider, etc. Although the conceit is more parts annoying than clever. Two of the three soldiers / camera ops are contrasted to the third camera operative, Zack Bazzi, who is a Muslim Arab and a sensitive patriot as well. You see, you can't judge a book by its cover. And we learn that the fledgling patriotism of these men will never be truly undone - pride is the reason - which is not exactly earth shattering. And book-ending the film - between men who start off proud to serve and return extremely disappointed - is creatively bankrupt.
At times, a hugely powerful and political portrayal of life on the front lines of the soldiers, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film (what happens after they return home) is only explored in the last ten minutes.
Here is an almost complete list of all the movies I own on DVD, Blu Ray, or Ultraviolet.
Films by Chicago documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films. Also some films that we consulted on, or helped in other ways. Unfortunately,…