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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq (review)

There are no politics in Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, the harrowing new original documentary from HBO, but that doesn’t mean you won’t bring along yours with you — you won’t be able to stop yourself. Ten soldiers who survived near-fatal injuries in Iraq sit in front of a camera and tell the stories of their “alive days” — like a birthday but terrible, those are the slots on the calendar when they came as close to death as anyone can without plunging into that abyss. Their injuries are horrific and life-altering — one soldier lost three limbs and has limited sensation in the remaining one; another laments how the loss of her arm and shoulder means she will never be able to pick up her children… the ones she doesn’t yet have, the one she wonders whether she ever will have. More than one of these veterans are women, making a sick joke out of notion that females are restricted from combat roles in the American military. But listening to the pain — physical, emotional, psychological — of all these soldiers, male and female alike, must make any sensitive person reconsider, yet again, what a sick joke the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has been. (The footage from Iraq, some shot by U.S. forces, some by insurgents, of roadside bombs and other random attacks only reinforce the notion that this is not a “war” the American military is equipped to fight, nor is it one it should be fighting.) For what, precisely, have these decent and patriotic citizens given their bodies and minds and hearts? The film is airing frequently all this month and next on HBO; or you can watch it in its entirety streaming at the HBO Web site through September 16. (It’s coming to DVD in October.) And you must watch it, to see what Americans are suffering the name of other Americans, for a leadership that cares not one whit for them.

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MPAA: rated TV-MA

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • Julie Ann

    I pray, Maryann, that you never have to live under a Saddam Hussein.

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