Synopsis by Mark Deming
Shortly after President George W. Bush announced that "major combat operations have ended" in the war in Iraq, filmmaker Michael Tucker (a self-described "Army brat" whose father served in Vietnam) traveled to Baghdad, where he and his camera crew were embedded with the 2-3 Army Field Artillery unit, improbably based out of a bombed-out mansion which once belonged to Saddam Hussein and his son Uday. Tucker and his crew spent two months with the soldiers of the 2-3 FA (in September 2003 and February 2004), following the young men and women as they went about their daily rounds in a land where they were welcomed by some and targeted by others. Gunner Palace offers a sympathetic but objective portrait of the American fighters as they go on routine patrol, try to ferret out insurgents, help train Iraqi forces, keep an eye peeled for homemade explosives, police some of the local troublemakers, and for the most part simply try to get through their days without the loss of life and limb in the midst of what they sarcastically call "minor combat operations." Gunner Palace received its world premier at the 2004 Telluride Film Festival and became the first documentary about the war in Iraq to be shot and released while the war was still taking place.
soldier, Iraq, war, behind-the-scenes, danger, army, invasion, military-station, palace, drudgery, rap-music