Chris Hume's review from FilmRadar.com
THE WAR TAPES: Review by Chris Hume
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
Deborah Scranton’s The War Tapes is an intimate and visceral trip into the landscape of war. There are no seasoned camera operators. There is no crew. There is no safety net. Instead, three soldiers are given three cameras, and they film their tour of duty over the course of a year: in the most dangerous part of the most dangerous country in the world.
Scranton allows the story to be told by the characters themselves, breaking down the wall that usually exists between the audience and the film. From deployment, to combat, to homecoming… we are in their boots.
Because there is no outside “filmmaker” intruding upon these soldiers’ lives, we get shamelessly candid interviews, and access to places that would have been totally off limits to a civilian.
A trip to the combat vehicle graveyard gives a chilling new perspective on the scope of this conflict. Row after row of charred Humvees and scorched American tanks stand in for the countless dead.
A year in Iraq leaves these three soldiers changed, haunted. It takes a steady hand to steer a film like this without losing political balance. Deborah Scranton has done just that.
So if you’re an armchair liberal, or a kneejerk conservative, with a bunch of ideological baggage, leave it at the door. When you see this film, see it as if you knew nothing of the ongoing war in Iraq and how we got there. Wipe your slate clean, and let the soldiers take you on this journey. If you want it any more real...then go enlist.
Read the entire review at FilmRadar.com