Last night, my wife and I held a screening of the “War Tapes” for a few friends, at our home. The War Tapes is the first war movie filmed by the soldiers themselves. Three soldiers carried cameras during their deployment in Iraq in 2004 and recorded over 800 hours of footage that is raw, grim, and real. All were from the New Hampshire National Guard. John Burns, Baghdad chief for the New York Times called it “The single best document (book, film, or article) you could see on the war in Iraq.”
Our audience sat in total silence, some with jaws dropped, most laughed nervously at the few humorous scenes. The discussion that followed was somber. It was obvious the film touched each of us much deeper than we anticipated. The common reaction among us all was that outside of the men and their families, few of us are affected by this tragedy and have sacrificed nothing. Most of us have never seen first hand the incredible lifetime price families of the returning veterans of the Iraq war pay. All the wives and girl friends say, on camera, their loved ones are not the same men who left just 14 months before. None of the changes they claim are for the good. This film is a stark, unfiltered portrayal of the incredible price we have committed to pay in lost and damaged lives, for this invasion and occupation.
If you get a chance, see the movie. It will give you a taste of the Iraq war like no other film has done. Like us, you will gain a new appreciation for the sacrifice everyday Americans are making for this war.