Right Wing Bloggers Agree: Brothers at War First Worthwhile Iraq Doc
"I always wanted to go to war," novice documentarian Jake Rademacher announces at the start of Brothers at War. It's presumably that kind of old-school thinking that's led the conservative blogosphere to champion his film as the first worthwhile Iraq doc. Puzzled by the increasing distance between his brothers, both of whom are soldiers, and himself, Jake embeds in their units, tagging along for surveillance, house raids, crossfire, and sniper missions. Certainly, it's a good thing that someone documented a group of decent, righteous soldiers with strong moral convictions doing the best they can, and I can't fault Rademacher's sincerity or intentions. I'll go so far as to say that this is "fair and balanced," insofar as the same soldiers praise the adrenaline rush of shooting someone in the head or kicking down a door (though Rademacher seems to think this is a good thing). I can, however, object to the bathetic, misty score and the endless close-ups of American babies to remind us "what we're fighting for"—and to the filmmaker's belief that support for our troops and support for their mission are one in the same. Just because Rademacher believes his film to be "non-partisan" does not make it so.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful