The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez (2006)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Military & War, Social Issues  |   Release Date - Apr 27, 2007 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland, Germany  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Jason Buchanan

The story of the first American soldier to be killed in the Iraqi war sets the stage for a studied exploration of just what it means to be an emigrant in search of the American dream in director Heidi Specogna's look at the life of slain soldier José Antonio Gutierrez. When his face made the nightly news, Gutierrez was mourned as an ambitious Guatemalan boy who dreamt of growing up to be an American and fighting for the freedom that America represented to him. As filmmaker Specogna comes into possession of two photographs of Gutierrez -- one as a young orphan and another as a grown soldier -- she speaks with the people who knew him best in hopes of getting the true story of his short and tragic life. The result is a revealing look at the harsh socioeconomic conditions that drive desperate individuals such as Gutierrez to brave the treacherous journey to America in hopes of building a better life for the ones they love.



casualties, foster-family, green-card, Guatemala, immigrant, Iraq, Marines, orphan, photograph, soldier, street-kid, war