Film Hick: Body Of War (2007) by Phil Donahue Ellen Spiro
Directed by: Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 87 Mins.
This is the story of Tomas Young, a veteran who was paralysed by a bullet to the spine during the war in Iraq. It takes us through his coming to terms with his condition whilst presenting a critical look at how the war has been conducted and is still being conducted. We get to meet a variety of people from Young’s family, politicians and other veterans and get to see how it has affected all of them.
I think the best term to describe the type of film-making that this is, is unflinching – it’s somewhat over-used but seems fitting. I hope this doesn’t make people think of anything at all gratuitous being included because this is a considered and matter of fact presentation of the situation. Some politicians emerge quite well, some not so well; you really feel for Young’s family and Young himself. I wouldn’t say that this film necessarily brings any new information to the table but the information it does bring is important and needs to be heard. It’s very watchable too.
Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock may have opened the floodgates for a ,lot of these films to get through and that isn’t a bad thing but the strength of this film comes in a lot of ways from the fact that the people making it aren’t in the picture. It benefits from not coming across as overly polemical and not being in your face. I won’t say sensitive film-making, but definitely human.