He shows a deep respect for life and diversity, and portrays a heartwarming depiction of his time in Iraq. He conveys his reason for enlisting in the Army. I chose to enlist. Hell, I volunteered to go to Iraq.
I want to contribute to something bigger and more meaningful than myself. I want to give back to my country. I want to physically contribute something positive to solving a problem rather then acting like I can solve all the world's problems from my couch. The Americans cannot even begin to understand the successes we're making there without ever setting foot in Iraq.
The boy, acting on everything his father has told him, looks up at the chopper with hatred in his eyes, picks up a rock and cocks his arm, ready to throw.
But the gunner in the Blackhawk has something in his hand too, and he's a bit quicker. A soccer ball flies out of the door of the chopper. The boy stands in disbelief for a moment, and then collects himself enough to run after the ball. Once he retrieves it, he looks up and with a smile from ear to ear, and excitedly waves to the American soldiers in the Blackhawk. Her distraught father carried her out to the streets where Danjel's battalion was securing the area.
The company medics rushed the girl into a nearby helicopter and to a hospital, not expecting her to make it. But there will be one living, beating heart that will bear testament to our company's mission and the good we tried to do. And right now that somehow seems enough. I truly believe that blogging will revolutionize the way people communicate faster than we know it.
Blogging is an outlet for soldiers to tell their side of the story in real time. These narratives take us into the encampments to share in the play, the boredom, the humor, and the tragedy of life in Iraq from dawn through their sleepless nights. After an IED attack takes place outside the military base, Moriarty goes back to the dark barracks and ponders:.
The film proceeds to a form of suture by using the retrospective narrative as a commentary that tries to introduce order in the confusion of the filmed events. The visuals signify the haunting power of war images, illustrating the words that convey the shock of the traumatized subject. The voice-over utters the sentences as the camera pans them in close-ups, suggesting that the film uses re-enactment on the part of the soldiers. Rather than convey the distance with the narrated events, the lingering voice-over enhances the power of the haunting images in the present.
I may have already killed one or some of these bastards with the Mark 19 Grenade. The camera allows the soldier to recount and to verbalize what he saw, including the horrors that shocked him:. If I play the odds one of us will die before the tour is over.
They just removed a body or half a body. I think there was nothing left from the abdomen down. Soldiers sitting in the corner of a sandbag wall shaking, screaming. I later heard that Iraqi casualties were not to be treated in Taji. If one of those incompetent medical officers told me to stop treatment I would have slit his throat right there. A chronicler of passing events may report that the episode itself lasted no more than an instant — a gunshot, say — but the traumatized mind holds on to that moment, preventing it from slipping back into its proper chronological place in the past, and relives it over and over again in the compulsive musings of the day and the seething dreams of night.
The sound of pounding gunshots conveys the sense of vulnerability and terror among the assailed men. The pace of action does not seem to allow them to understand or to grasp the whole scene. The end of the film focuses on their return to civilian life through interviews with their loved ones, who testify about the destructive impact of trauma.
The event resonates with the embedded sequence of an Iraqi woman being run over by his Humvee, which keeps haunting him long after his return to New Hampshire. The film gives insight into the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which Caruth identifies as follows:. While the precise definition of post-traumatic stress disorder is contested, most descriptions generally agree that there is a response, sometimes delayed, to an overwhelming event or events, which takes the form of repeated, intrusive hallucinations, dreams, thoughts or behaviors stemming from the event, along with numbing that may have begun during or after the experience, and possibly also increased arousal to and avoidance of stimuli recalling the event.
Identified with the bodies of the military, the cameras enhance the perception they have of themselves as possible targets, drawing sympathy for their plight. The voice-over endeavours to reconcile the narrative gap between the present and the past, and the images and the soundtrack — a void that signifies the lingering sense of trauma. As the soldiers retrospectively comment on their Iraqi experience, Scranton uses editing to highlight the physical and mental traces of the conflict on the men whose return to civilian life is forever compromised.
Cultural studies scholar Martin Barker argues that the reference to post-traumatic stress disorder draws attention away from acts of war and places the emphasis on the soldiers instead. With the smell of science and the promise of remedies, PTSD has come to function as a key metaphor for America inspecting itself within safe margins. What does it achieve? It offers soldiers a self-justifying account of their situation.
It generates positive-smelling narratives.
Through remediation, Scranton appropriates their stock footage in a story that contributes to constructing the collective memory of the Iraq war, shedding light on notions of American sacrifice and suffering. Complicit with the ideological lens as identified by Barker, is the personal lens through which the war stories are told throughout the documentary. Bacevich, Andrew J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Barker, Martin. London: Pluto Press, Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience, Trauma, Narrative, and History. Chapman, Jane. Issues in Contemporary Documentary. Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press, Kai Erikson.
Lane, Jim. The Autobiographical Documentary in America. Mitchell, W. Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, , Strangelove, Michael. Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto, Westwell, Guy. Also, videos of IED attacks on occupying forces within Iraq are widespread and attract millions of viewers.
By November this number had swelled to 9, Like many other images of American triumphalism during the invasion of Iraq, it helped to mobilize Iraqi nationalism and to recruit jihadists from other Arab countries […]. Mitchell, Cloning Terror , 2. I think he might be a spy. You see!
Table of contents for When war becomes personal
The deal is sealed! A handshake! A fraternity! What a traitor! The Army as structure is replaced with the all-male unit located around the interior of the helicopter and the tents in which the men live and where they spend most of their non-combat time. This ensures a tight, nuclear-family-sized focalisation for the home movies and acts as a surrogate for a more conventionally conceived home. See XXX. Traumatic experience, beyond the psychological dimension of suffering it involves, suggests a certain paradox: that the most direct seeing of a violent event may occur as an absolute inability to know it; that immediacy, paradoxically, may take the form of belatedness.
The repetitions of the traumatic event — which remain unavailable to consciousness but intrude repeatedly on sight — thus suggest a larger relation to the event that extends beyond what can simply be seen or what can be known, and is inextricably tied up with the belatedness and incomprehensibility that remain at the heart of this repetitive seeing.
Above all, trauma involves a continual reliving of some wounding experience in daydreams and nightmares, flashbacks and hallucinations, and in a compulsive seeking out of similar circumstances. Her research explores the relationship between history, memory, and film in American fiction and nonfiction cinema—including war documentaries and African American television films.
She studies the ideological construction of stereotypes and the politics of representation developed in Hollywood productions. French online Journal focused on the study of the media in the English-speaking world, with a multidisciplinary approach. Contents - Previous document - Next document.
Exploring War Memories in American Documentaries.