Body of War: Paralyzed in Iraq and the Long Road Back

On the Amer­i­can home front, the Iraq war has entered its apa­thet­ic phase. The war con­tin­ues to grind on, but the mis­sion gets far less news ink than before, and the debate over the war’s mer­its and tac­tics rarely gets hashed back through. That’s per­haps because many have decid­ed to men­tal­ly park the issue until a new admin­is­tra­tion takes over next year. Or because declin­ing home prices and ris­ing food and gas costs have elbowed the Iraq issue aside. Unde­terred, Phil Don­ahue and Ellen Spiro have co-direct­ed a new doc­u­men­tary called Body of War. Being released in US the­aters this month, the doc­u­men­tary (fea­tur­ing music arranged by Eddie Ved­der) tracks the dai­ly life of Tomas Young, a sol­dier shot and par­a­lyzed dur­ing his first week of fight­ing in Iraq, and it gives you a rare glimpse into the dif­fi­cult road that Young and oth­ers have had to trav­el. All of this makes tan­gi­ble some­thing that the cor­po­ra­tized media has­n’t cov­ered much — the real human costs of this war. To date, 4,361 Amer­i­can sol­diers have died in Iraq; over 30,000 have been injured in hos­tile action; and sui­cides of return­ing vets have report­ed­ly risen to alarm­ing rates. Below, we have post­ed the trail­er for the film. In addi­tion, I’d point you to this recent pod­cast by Bill Moy­ers (iTunesFeedWeb Site), which intro­duces you to Tomas Young, Phil Dono­hue, Ellen Spiro and the film they made.

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