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The War Tapes: Virtual Embed

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Virtual Embed

Here'a a very thoughtful review from the Wired Article on The War Tapes:

The best war journalism puts its audience in close proximity to combat. It's hard to imagine getting closer than The War Tapes does. ... Director Deborah Scranton described War Tapes as the result of a "virtual embed." She gave cameras to 10 Iraq-bound soldiers, and then used e-mail and instant messaging to provide them with advice on technique and technical issues.


Sgt. Zack Bazzi, another of the film's three main subjects, paid little mind to the camera while on patrol. In an interview with Wired News, he said he'd strap Scranton's Sony PC109 camera onto the dash of his Humvee and then go about his business.

"Sooner or later you forget about it," he said. "Especially in a combat situation, when there are many different things you worry about -- the soldiers I'm in charge of, possible bad guys out there on the road.

"I'd be crossing the ethical boundaries if I acted a certain way in front of the camera instead of focusing my full attention on leading my men and accomplishing my mission. The behavior you see is genuine."

As a result, War Tapes feels far more raw and political than network coverage. ... But War Tapes is no Michael Moore rant. Scranton said one of her main goals was to deepen and complicate our conception of the war, not politicize it.

Bazzi thinks the film succeeds in providing a more nuanced portrait of Iraq and of the soldiers fighting there.

"Are things rosy? Are there butterflies flying around little squirrels and people hugging us?" he said. "No. But are we killing babies and destroying the whole country? Absolutely not."

Read the whole article here. And, if you missed, the Cinematical review here.

We are now 9 members short of having 1,000 members in our War Tapes community. The great reviews notwithstanding, this is not your typical A-list Hollywood, so the only way this movie is going to get shown coast to coast is local interest and local demand, and word of mouth. If you haven't already, join the War Tapes community (and we'll send you outtakes from the film).