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With: Zack Bazzi, Mike Moriarity, Steve Pink
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Deborah Scranton
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97
Date: 04/29/2006

The War Tapes (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Iraq Focus

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Castro Theater in San Francisco opens an extraordinary new film this week, The War Tapes. It's the first documentary filmed almost entirely by soldiers on the front lines of the Iraq war. During 2004, National Guardsmen Steve Pink, Mike Moriarity and Zack Bazzi documented the carnage around them, but also recorded their thoughts, doubts, feelings and fears around the entire experience. Many have become cynical toward the cause, even though many men still support President Bush. Bazzi in particular, who is Lebanese and speaks Arabic, has some very interesting observations about cultural clashing. It's definitely a bipartisan film, one that may open the eyes of those that have chosen one side or another. Its only drawback is that editor Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and director Deborah Scranton have decided to include several "reality show" segments of wives and girlfriends waiting and worrying at home. It's half-baked heartstring stuff, and it dampens the film's power.

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