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Movie Review: Body of War

Alternate Title: The Reluctant Hero

Story: Most of the films made about the Iraq War are as unpopular as the War itself. It seems that Americans simply do not want to be reminded of this on going debacle in the newspapers, on TV or on the big screen. But thankfully there are dedicated filmmakers such as co-directors Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro who fight the good fight. They have produced a powerful documentary about Iraq War vet Tomas Young from Kansas City, MO. It is as good as films like these get.

Mr. Young was in Iraq only five days before he was hit by a sniper's bullet while riding in an open truck with his platoon. He is paralyzed from the nipples down. The story of how he deals with his depression, his injuries and his out of control body functions are clinical and stirring. How he soldiers on and now devotes his life to the Veterans Against the War movement is the heart of the story. What makes it even more powerful is the juxtaposing back and forth between Young's story and the Congressional vote on Resolution 114 back in 2002 that allowed Bush to take us to war.

You will get angry, you will shake your head, you will pound your fist on the armrest and above all - you will cry. This is an intimate portrait of a young man cut down in his early life. I was moved. Mr. Young has appeared on 60 Minutes nd Bill Moyers did an hour's show on this hero. You can watch some of it here.

My two NY Senators voted with the majority in 2002. I am still pissed at them. Here are
the 23 Senators who voted against Resolution 114 are: Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Chafee (R-RI), Conrad (D-ND), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Graham (D-FL), Inouye (D-HI), Jeffords (I-VT), Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Sarbanes (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Wellstone (D-MN), Wyden (D-OR)

Acting: Not applicable in a documentary.

Predilection: I am a political junkie and feel obligated to see these films.

Critters: A sweet, peppy black Lab.

Sex Spectrum: There is no sex but plenty of discussions about erectile dysfunction and catheters.

Soundtrack: Mostly original music by Eddie Vedder. Terrific tracks.

Theater Audience: About ten men (some looked old enough to be Vietnam Vets and some young enough to be Iraq War Vets) and me. I saw this film at the IFC Waverly but am afraid it has left theaters. Hopefully it will be shown on TV or be available on DVD soon.

Sappy Factor: 0

Squirm Scale: Watching Tomas Young deal with his injuries is hard to watch.

Drift Factor: I was attentive throughout.

Predictability Level: Sadly, high.

Tissue Usage: One

Oscar Worthy: Perhaps

Soap Box: If you want to here my political rants you can go to my other site: http://www.judylobo.wordpress.com/

Big Screen or Rental: Rental is probably your only option.

Length: 90 minutes