Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sundance Films: The Tillman Story

Title: The Tillman Story
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Website: no individual site, but click here for Sundance page

Summary: Pat Tillman gave up his professional football career to join the Army Rangers in 2002—and became an instant symbol of patriotic fervor and unflinching duty. But the truth about Pat Tillman is far more complex, and ultimately more heroic, than the caricature created by the media. And when the government tried to turn his death into war propaganda, they took on the wrong family. From her home in the Santa Cruz mountains, Pat’s mother, Dannie Tillman, led the family’s crusade to reveal the truth beneath the mythology of their son’s life and death. Featuring candid and revelatory interviews with Pat's fellow soldiers as well as his family, Amir Bar-Lev’s emotional and insightful film not only shines a light on the shady aftermath of Pat’s death and calls to task the entire chain of command but also examines themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself (Sundance).

Thoughts: Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary The Tillman Story has all the makings of a good film: heroism, a military/government cover up and the relentless pursuit for truth. Many American’s (whether they are football fans or not) are aware of Pat Tillman’s sacrifice to join the military over a lucrative football career, but even with the celebrity status this documentary has, it may be hard to pull audiences back into a scandal from several years ago (and under a different president and military leadership). Bar-Lev’s film may not get the theatrical release it deserves, but this still looks like a potentially fascinating film- especially with the U.S. trying to maintain support for two wars.

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