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Body of War

(2008) *** Unrated
87 min. The Film Sales Company. Directors: Ellen Spiro, Phil Donahue (II).
Filmmaker Ellen Spiro and legendary TV journalist Phil Donahue join forces for Body of War, a portrait of wounded veteran and antiwar activist Tomas Young. One thread of the narrative follows Young's reintegration into civilian life, including his wedding and the strain put on himself and his marriage by his physical condition; the other thread of the film is a recounting of the words spoken from the floors of the House of Representatives and the Senate as Congress ceded its Constitutional war authority to the Bush Administration during its political mobilization for the Iraq War. The threads meet when Young and Sen. Robert Byrd do: each man is a hero in his own sphere, and each fights through physical limitations for a cause. As evidenced by two new political anthems by Eddie Vedder, the film wears its heart on its sleeve. Indeed, the film's intimacy and depictions of true heroism succeed in stirring emotions.
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