Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Documentary Depicts Commitment, Sacrifice of Soldiers, Families
American Forces Press Service ^ | John J. Kruzel

Posted on 02/23/2009 6:37:23 PM PST by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2009 – On location in the Middle of Nowhere, Iraq, filmmaker Jake Rademacher focuses his lens on a unit of young reconnaissance troops with whom he’s embedded.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
David Scantling, chief executive officer of private equity firm Scantling Technology Ventures; Producer Norman S. Powell; Army Capt. Isaac Rademacher, actor Gary Sinese and filmmaker Jake Rademacher pose for photos after an advance screening of “Brothers at War,” a film that documents Jake Rademacher's experience in Iraq as he sought to understand what motivates his two military brothers. The sneak preview took place Feb. 20, 2009, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The film releases at theaters across the country March 13. DoD photo by John J. Kruzel

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
For five days they wait in the desert near Syria, watching idly for smugglers bringing weapons, cash or foreign fighters across the border. Conversation is the only thing that colors the monotony of the blank horizon.

One soldier says he joined the ranks to make his father proud. Another is confident his duty will benefit posterity. And a crew-cut junior enlisted troop says through a wad of chewing tobacco he’s not sure why wears the uniform.

“If you find out, let me know,” he tells Rademacher.

At the heart of Rademacher’s documentary “Brothers at War” are the kind of open-ended questions many civilians have about what U.S. servicemembers do and why. Using his own family as a microcosm, Rademacher paints an intimate portrait that seeks to understand the commitment and sacrifice attendant to military service.

The Rademacher clan represents a compelling cross-section, with two of Jake’s brothers, Isaac and Joe, serving as active-duty soldiers.

The film follows Jake to Iraq, where he shadows Isaac, a captain in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, on his second deployment in Mosul. Jakes also walks a mile in the shoes of Joe -- a 23-year-old staff sergeant sniper and Army Ranger also in the 82nd Airborne -- when he joins snipers at "hide sites" in the Sunni Triangle.

The culmination of Rademacher’s multiple journeys to Iraq amounted to 35 interviews, 25 missions and 400 hours of tape, which he distilled into a feature-length film. Brothers at War releases nationally on March 13.

“I wanted to dive right into the front lines,” Rademacher said at the National Press Club here last week after an advance screening of the film. “And I learned about my brothers through their brothers in arms.”

On the home front, the documentary illustrates the effects that repeated deployments have on spouses and children. But the film is far from a social commentary, and there is a distinct absence of a political or moral agenda.

After the Feb. 20 screening, Isaac revealed that Jake’s motivation for making the film was two-fold. He wanted to document Isaac’s life as a memento for his young daughter, Hunter, in case Isaac didn’t return from duty.

Jake also wanted to open the eyes of the American public to the reality of the front lines, Isaac said.

“I’ve never seen anything that shows so much truth and then steps away,” he added.

Gary Sinese, one of the film’s executive producers, attended the screening along with a group of soldiers recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center here. Sinese was eager to sign onto the project after it was screened for him last year, he said.

“Brothers at War presents such a positive depiction of military families,” he said. “It’s a great American documentary that speaks my language.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Pineiro, a liaison for wounded troops recovering at Walter Reed, said he could see the emotion worn on the faces of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers with him at the screening.

“Rademacher did an excellent job representing what the soldiers go through while stationed in Iraq,” Pineiro said. “And you could see it on the faces of the soldiers over here.

“Some of them you could see some emotion, some of them were reliving what they went through over there,” he said. “It was pretty emotional.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: commitment; families; sacrafice; soldiers

1 posted on 02/23/2009 6:37:23 PM PST by SandRat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SandRat

did you know that leftists in Congress want to shut down these kinds of military press services?? They want ALL military info coming from White House/Pentagon

2 posted on 02/23/2009 6:42:56 PM PST by GeronL (Hey, won't you be my Face Book friend??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
What motivates military families? I guess love of Country.

Everyone in my family has been in the service except my Mom, and she riveted wing panels on B-24 bombers at Willow Run during WWII.

My family list:
Father - Army Air Corps Communications NCO
Uncle #1 - Army Air Corp B-25 Pilot
Uncle #2 - Army Air Corp Private
Oldest Brother - Air Force Radar Maintenance NCO
Older Brother - Air Force Security Colonel (Mustang)
Older Sister - Air Force Communications NCO
Myself - Air Force Missileer and Nuke Weapons Captain (Mustang)
Nephew - US Army 101st Air Assault Lieutenant (Mustang)

3 posted on 02/23/2009 7:22:35 PM PST by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson