USA, 2007, 87 min, VIDEO
In attendance: Directors, Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro
One of the most effective ways to give an important story life beyond the 60-second news bite is to present it in a film. So it is no surprise that Phil Donahue, the father of modern television talk show, has collaborated with veteran documentary filmmaker Ellen Spiro to give us an unsanitized account of one young man’s evolution from enlisted soldier to anti-war veteran.
Tomas Young grew up in Kansas City and like many patriotic young men and women, he responded to a call to action after 9/11. After less than one week in Iraq, he received a bullet injury to the spine that paralyzed his body. The film cleverly inter-cuts two parallel stories: Tomas struggles to deal with the complexities of his injuries while we see the congressional deliberations granting President Bush authority to invade Iraq. The effect is a startlingly powerful juxtaposition of cause and effect and the personal consequences of misguided vision.
Featuring two original songs by Eddie Vedder, the film was the runner-up for the People’s Choice Awards at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
This screening is part of the American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival 2007. For details on the festival and tickets visit www.afi.com