Skip to comments.Documentary Depicts Commitment, Sacrifice of Soldiers, Families
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 hes embedded.
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 hes not sure why wears the uniform.
If you find out, let me know, he tells Rademacher.
At the heart of Rademachers 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 Jakes brothers, Isaac and Joe, serving as active-duty soldiers.
The film follows Jake to Iraq, where he shadows Isaac, a captain in the Armys 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 Rademachers 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 Jakes motivation for making the film was two-fold. He wanted to document Isaacs life as a memento for his young daughter, Hunter, in case Isaac didnt return from duty.
Jake also wanted to open the eyes of the American public to the reality of the front lines, Isaac said.
Ive never seen anything that shows so much truth and then steps away, he added.
Gary Sinese, one of the films 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. Its 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.
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
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)