Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three soldiers offer viewers a close-up and deeply personal view of the war in Iraq in this documentary. Filmmaker Deborah Scranton gave digital video cameras to three National Guard volunteers who were called up for duty in Iraq and asked them to keep a visual diary of what they saw and how they felt about it. The three men who took Scranton up on her offer were Sgt. Zack Bazzi, Spc. Mike Moriarty, and Sgt. Steve Pink. Bazzi is a Lebanese immigrant who previously fought in Bosnia and Kosovo and loves the thrill of battle, though he has serious reservations about the nature of the American occupation and feels most of his fellow soldiers are dangerously unaware of the habits and customs of the Iraqis. Moriarty is a husband and father who volunteered for service after the terrorist attacks of September 11; he's a proud warrior and loyal to his fellow soldiers, though he's come to hate the sting of battle. And Pink is a carpenter and would-be writer who joined the Guard to help raise money for college; his dark sense of humor often rises to the surface as he confronts the uglier aspects of the conflict. Scranton took the footage shot by the soldiers (sometimes uploaded by Internet just hours after a battle) and fashioned it into a story of three different men united by a single cause who are fiercely loyal to their fellow fighting men and women, even as they become increasingly cynical about the causes and motivations behind the war. The War Tapes was screened in competition at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
front-line, Internet, Iraq, National-Guard, soldier, video-camera, war