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Gunner Palace DVD (2005)

1 rating: 3.0
Documentary and Military & War movie directed by Michael Tucker (III) and Petra Epperlein

Gunner Palacemay well prove to be the emblematic film of the Iraq war, offering a yet-to-be rivaled level of intimacy with the inner lives of those who hate war more than anyone--the soldiers who have to fight it. A war documentary seemingly without … see full wiki

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1 review about Gunner Palace DVD (2005)

The Real Deal!

  • Sep 16, 2005
I don't necessarily see this as a political movie, but more as a look at the surreal life of soldiers. Surreal because those of us that haven't been in the military and haven't had to live with imminent violence from all directions don't always comprehend what it must be like. Gunner Palace gives a dramatic and respectful look into that world.

The soldiers tell you about life in post-Sadaam Iraq, how they cope with dark humor and raps while being face with IEDs (improvised explosive devices), RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), mortar rounds and untold other threats day after day, week after week. The language is raw and uncensored, possibly offensive to some, but given the context it's natural. In fact, with most of the actual violence and blood occurring off camera, the language is the harshest part of the film. These are young men and women living in an alien world, trying to do the job they've been assigned and make the best of it.

It's not exactly recruiting film stuff, but then again this film does nothing to dishonor the soldiers either. It portrays them as professionals that cope with a very difficult assignment. It's an assignment that will take some of the lives of them, a reality that adds considerable poignancy to the conversations captured on film.

The troops that the filmmakers worked with are/were quartered in a palace built and decorated by Sadaam's son Uday. Supposedly this was one of the places where he hosted his wild parties, that gives a kernel of truth to the rather titillating references to it being a "pleasure palace" in promotional pieces and some reviews. There is a pool though, and somehow some of the soldiers managed to bring along some musical instruments that lighten the mood at times.

Overall, it's a good film, that provides a healthy dose of reality for both the right and the left.

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