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I digg it! You forgot to mention Some war stories will never make the news! But good all around

Patrick P

This is an important move for everyone in the country to see. It doesn't matter if you're pro or anti war. This is the story of the troops fighting to give you the freedom of being either for or against the war, and your freedom to speak out for or against it. Let these troops speak, listen to what they have to say about it, they deserve to be heard. My brother was in the 2/3 FA, the unit featured in the movie. As a family member of a soldier trying to understand what he went through overseas in this War on Terrorism, I can say that nothing has come within reach of Gunner Palace. It's an amazing documentary about truth, about what the soldier's feel themselves, not what reporters tell us they feel. See this movie, support the troops.


Gunner Palace will be remembered
A review of Gunner Palace

Gunner Palace took guts to make. It took courage to even go there without a crew and become part of the unit.It took additonal courage to not bring a big ego and political point of view. It took guts to let some of these remarkable characters just be themselves. It took guts to drive in from Jordan. It took brains to assess the situation in 2003 and buck the trend of the media that this war was "over" and see a story. It took stamina to produce it alone without a crew. It took spirit to face the crowds across the country and hear from both left and right.And now we all can have some spirit and send our friends to see it. Also see: Gunnerpalace.com- the Diaries.

What would you say to this reviewer on a college campus?

Gunning for redundancy
Film Review: Gunner Palace
By Will Scheibel - The Daily Iowan
Published: Monday, May 2, 2005
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

** out of ****

Here's a film with a lot of talk but nothing especially relevant to say. Gunner Palace, a documentary by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, may have been worth a look had the likes of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) and Control Room (2004) come later, but now the film seems redundant - and also monotonous and repetitive.

Tucker and Epperlein spent time with the 2/3 Field Artillery Division (a.k.a. "Gunners") of the Army's First Armored Division during visits to Iraq over the course of the last two years. They recorded the day-to-day routines of these young men, varying from the mundane (pool parties, horseplay) to the life-threatening (raids, eruptions of gunfire).

The soldiers' home base is the "Gunner Palace" to which the title refers: remains of Uday Hussein's mansion that housed many a shindig in his time. During their stint in Baghdad, the soldiers turn the palace into an R&R haven for swimming, golfing, listening to rap, and partying down.

These ragtag guys are mostly a foul-mouthed, inarticulate group of Neanderthals, and, at first, the film appeared to be nothing more than an American military-as-bully polemic. Ultimately, the film leans towards the antiwar direction but doesn't offer the heavy-handed indictment we were led to expect.

Instead, the film is more about the life of American soldiers, told from the inside, and their daily fight for survival. Still, anyone who has seen Apocalypse Now (1979), Platoon (1986), or Full Metal Jacket (1987) - or even talked to a veteran - has probably heard all the points made in the 85-minute running time. We see how the men's naïveté turns to cynicism and eventual disillusionment, with the obvious conclusion that, yes, war is hell.

Tucker and Epperlein also portray the soldiers as confused boys lost and losing in an adult's game, with no real concept of what they're supposed to be doing in Iraq. Moreover, the troops in the film are oblivious to the history and culture of Baghdad, making it all the more difficult for them to understand their demonized "enemy." If this stuff sounds cliché, that's because we've heard the rhetoric a hundred times already (either from Michael Moore, or in the news, or even in classroom discussions).

Maybe if the soldiers in Gunner Palace were a little more likable, it would be easier to stomach their story. But watching these dudes onscreen is like spending an hour and a half in your high-school locker room, as those asshole jocks swear and snap at each other with wet towels. The horror ... the horror.

E-mail DI film critic Will Scheibel at:

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I was there at Gunners Palace, Mike has done a decent job of portraying some of the sentiment felt. However, the ammenities seen pool, golf, etc. gives you a false sense of security. This palace was a wreck when we arrived. It took a lot of blood sweat and tears to get it to the shape that you are shown in the movie. If you weren't there then do not attempt to speak on what you see, just absorb it and regurgitate it later, but by all means do not criticise.

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