A path-breaking testament to intellectual honesty and artistic integrity, Penny Allen’s The Soldier’s Tale chronicles the interplay between a working-class Iraq War veteran and an antiwar filmmaker.
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2008, 54 min., fiction/documentary hybrid, Traces of Life Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, 2008 ; Kolkata (India) Film Festival, 2008 ; Museum of Modern Art, New York, Documentary Fortnight, 2009 ; Biennale Social Action Films, Ile de France, 2009 ; Festival International des Films de Femmes, Paris, 2009 ; prizewinner Nyon Visions du Réel, 2009, released commercially in France, 2010 ; Letters from Wars, Centre Pompidou, Novembre 2014 ; Retrospective at Hollywood
Theatre, Portland, 2015 ; Retrospective at Metrograph, New York, 2017 ; Sundance
Video on Demand.
The Soldier’s Tale is a deeply personal documentary about the Iraq War that takes us places no mere journalistic inquiry could go. Sergeant R. approaches director Allen on a plane headed for the U.S. carrying a laptop full of electronic memories shot by fellow soldiers—the digital “war porn” they capture on smartphones and trade like baseball cards.
After the soldier mails her a CD with all his images, the two meet in a motel somewhere in the U.S. and he narrates the war for Allen—before trudging back to the battlefield.
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