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Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (2007)

A unique documentary about troops' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on writings by soldiers, Marines, and air men. Some writings were published in the New Yorker in summer 2006. A... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Robbins

Writers:

Colby Buzzell (story "Men in Black"), Edward Parker Gyokeres (story "Camp Muckamungus") | 7 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sharon D. Allen Sharon D. Allen ... Herself
Beau Bridges ... Voice 'Aftermath'
Colby Buzzell Colby Buzzell ... Himself / Writer
Richard Currey Richard Currey ... Himself
Robert Duvall ... Taking Chance (voice)
Aaron Eckhart ... Road Work (voice)
Paul Fussell Paul Fussell ... Himself
Christopher Gorham ... 'Distant Thunder' (voice)
Edward Parker Gyokeres Edward Parker Gyokeres ... Himself
Joe Haldeman Joe Haldeman ... Himself
Sangjoon Han Sangjoon Han ... Himself
Ed Hrivnak ... Himself / Writer
Justin Kirk ... Voice 'Men in Black, ' 'Aftermath' (voice)
Yusef Komunyakaa Yusef Komunyakaa ... Himself
John Krasinski ... Camp Muckamungus (voice)
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Storyline

A unique documentary about troops' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on writings by soldiers, Marines, and air men. Some writings were published in the New Yorker in summer 2006. A larger assortment was published as a book by Random House last September. The film drew upon the submissions by soldiers for the book. It's a remarkable portrait of troops at war - the complexities, doubts, and fears - written with honesty. The 81-minute version of the film (which will be in theatres) includes 11 pieces of writing, with different visual strategies, along with interviews with the writers, and with more established American writers who are also veterans. In the latter group are Tim O'Brien, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tobias Wolff, Joe Haldeman, James Salter, Anthony Swofford, Richard Currey, and Paul Fussell. The visual approaches range from poet Brian Turner reading directly to camera, to archival footage, to an animated "graphic novel," to a still photo sequence shot by photographer Antonin... Written by Adam Hyman, co-producer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Epiheirisi gyrismos See more »

Filming Locations:

Iraq See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,516, 11 February 2007

Gross USA:

$6,795

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Documentary Group See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color | Color (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Incredible Documentary
29 April 2008 | by fwompSee all my reviews

I think I've been socially hardened by documentaries that don't show all sides of a story, or instill the documentary-makers' opinions or images (see SICKO) in place of what should be being told.

So it is with a heavy sigh of relief that I wholeheartedly recommend this Academy Award nominated documentary, OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE.

First let's look at why this film is so successful. It's fresh. Most war writings are done by established or well-groomed writers, giving them decent syntax, etc., but lacking that up-close and personal process that goes along with firing weapons and being fired at during war. And this is where Operation Homecoming succeeds. The writings are all firsthand accountings from soldiers who've walked the walk and talked the talk.

Secondly is the unique filming. Each segment contains a different milieu and a different style of filming. From animation to quick-flash photography of those that've given their lives, the stories are told in a highly interesting fashion that keeps the viewer very interested.

Thirdly is the internal conflict that so easily comes across. From the beginning of the film when soldiers discuss their upbringing from childhood and being told killing is wrong, to being thrown into a situation where you're trained to kill for "God and Country," the film watcher understands the conundrum these men and women are put into.

The final successful element is the men and women themselves and how they deal with tough situations. There's never the "Why am I here" question asked. They know why they're there. They don't care about policy or partisan politics or money or oil. They care about the guy to their left and right who's protecting their backside during a fire-fight.

Each 'chapter' (if you will) contains a title and the story of a soldier. From the grunts on the ground, to the medic flying the injured to Germany, to the honor guard who sees the dead to their final resting place, Operation Homecoming is truly a unique gem in the documentary genre.


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