"For y'all this is just a show, but we live in this movie." - Soldier in Gunner Palace
I was invited to attend the Chicago premiere of Gunner Palace. Gunner Palace will be released on March 4th, with a wider distribution by mid March. The Director, Michael Tucker, and I have been emailing back and forth for awhile now. I've discussed the movie and posted some of the videos that he's taken over the last year, too.
Getting ready to go to the theater, my wife asked me what I thought the movie would be like. I had an idea from the trailers, videos, web diary and the email conversations with Michael Tucker.
"Not anti-war or pro-war. It'll show that war is beautiful and that war sucks..."
I was right. And I loved every single minute of the movie.
Gunner Palace is told from the perspective of the troops (2/3 Field Artillery) about what they think about Iraq, politics, and the Army. It shows an immensely complicated and extremely dangerous situation being handled (well) by simple Soldiers just trying to do the job given to them. Throughout the movie, I was on the edge of my seat or laughing at the antics of Wilf or admiring the courage of the soldiers and their interpreters.
After the premiere, Michael Tucker and one of the soldiers from Gunner Palace, Captain John Powers, held a Question & Answer session. There were a lot less political questions than I would have expected from a Chicago audience. There were a few of the Soldiers from the movie at the premiere and they were all treated with respect (and many thanked them for their service).
I was able to spend some time (and have a few drinks) with Michael Tucker after the premiere (at Duffy's on Diversey). We discussed the movie but also talked about the military and Iraq. We talked about war and it's effects on Soldiers - we talked a lot about decompressing after coming home. And we covered many things that I can't discuss. You'll just have to see the movie.
And lastly, we discovered that we both love Sarah's blog, Trying to Grok.
If you're looking for an open, honest and hugely un-biased look at what has been happening in Iraq and what our Soldiers think about it, Gunner Palace won't disappoint you. It will be well worth your time to see the movie.
Update: Those on the "far left" will think it is pro-war/Bush and those on the "far right" will believe it to be anti-war/Bush.