Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Tillman Story

The Film: The Tillman Story

The Peeps: Amir Bar Lev (director), narrated by Josh Brolin.

The Dealio: On April 22, 2004, ex-footballer and Ranger corporal , Pat Tillman, was killed 'in the line of duty', during a fire-fight. His family members- and the country- were told that he had died in an act of heroic self-sacrific. He then became a symbol for all that was right, and true and patriotic in our military. And, now we know that the entire tale, the myths, the legends, were all part of a cover-up, intended to wring some sort of positive message from the meaningless loss of his young life. His family, speaking on behalf of their loved one, who could no longer speak for himself, decided to buck the system, find out what actually happened and set the record straight. This doc is the result.

The Grading Session: 4.51 pengies out of 5. Editing, once more, would have turned this into a 5 pengie doc, but the movie still had plenty to say...and said it: about life in the modern military, people's reactions to grief, tragedy and subterfuge, and, mostly, about how divisive and corrosive these wars are to all who touch or are touched by even the tiniest brush with them.

Lessons Learned: It is not valuable, meaningful, or even necessary to see members of the military as either heroes or traitors, patriotic or reluctantly compliant, wildly opinionated or moderately sedated by rhetoric. We are all just mini-glimpses at America's society as a whole. So there is as much reluctance as heroism in each of us. As a vet, myself, I have seen this first hand. I am proud of my service to this country, but do not consider myself either heroic or particularly self-sacrificing. Neither did Pat Tillman. What I think is this: labelling is the lazy person's first and easiest response and does no favors to anyone. So let's stop leaping to conclusions. As in, right now.
Also- Donald Rumsfeld is an ill-mannered, boorish jackanapes and needs a good butt-kicking for his smirking, self-laudatory, inappropriate performance before the good ol' boys (and gals) in the Senate who patted his back and kissed his tuchus for deigning to appear before them. Shame on you for your treatment of this grieving family. Blog out.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I had to google 'jackanapes,' which apparently means 1)impatient person or 2) tame monkey. I think both are fitting...