Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience

Spun off from a worthy project by the National Endowment for the Arts, this documentary by Richard E. Robbins uses voice-overs by Beau Bridges, Robert Duvall, Aaron Eckhart, and other actors to present the writings of soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their family members. It’s an honorable stab at a misguided undertaking: the texts and the readings are often strong, but the visual accompaniment, no matter how sensitive and inventive, almost always competes with, and therefore distracts from, the image-making power of the writing. (The sole exception is a rapid montage of faces toward the end.) Much more successful are the talking-head interviews with Paul Fussell, Tim O’Brien, James Salter, Tobias Wolff, and others, whose eloquence we can experience without mediation. 81 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.