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The Ground Truth
The Ground Truth
Actors: Herold Noel, Robert Acosta, Sean Huze, Kelly Dougherty, Patricia Foulkrod
Director: Patricia Foulkrod
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
R     2006     1hr 12min

The stories are those of a half-dozen american heroes ordinary men & women who heeded the call for military service in iraq. This charts recruitment & training combat homecoming & the struggle to reintegrate with families ...  more »
     
     
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Movie Details

Actors: Herold Noel, Robert Acosta, Sean Huze, Kelly Dougherty, Patricia Foulkrod
Director: Patricia Foulkrod
Creators: Patricia Foulkrod, Andrew Mysko, Carl Linderum, Dal LaMagna, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Faiz Kayyem, Jodie Evans
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Politics, Military & War
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 12min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 4
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Wendell E. from AURORA, CO
Reviewed on 3/2/2014...
Very insightful. We are not doing enough to bring our service people who have seen combat back into society off of the battlefield. If you have served, this is a tough watch.
Steve P. (Solarsurfer) from PACIFICA, CA
Reviewed on 1/24/2013...
These vets tell their stories of horror in Iraq & Afghanistan with candor. First person narratives that are hard to hear, but are essential to further a deeper understanding of the wars fought by our brave American youth.

Movie Reviews

An informative film told from the views of our Soldiers and
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 11/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Ground Truth is being praised by the left and dismissed by the right. I did not feel after watching it that it came down so much to a political debate about the good or bad views of the current war in Iraq, but the consequences and outcomes that we don't see or realize.

The ground truth is a film that should be viewed by anyone who wants to see the other side of war, the one usually not told. Forget the blurbs you see on your Television every night, and take a moment to view this film.

The documentary rolls at a good pace as it spends half the time not interviewing soldiers, sailors and marines who have returned from Iraq, but lets them simply tell the story in their own words. It is not so much concentrated on tearing down the military or our government policies as much as showing, at the same time, that the people coming back are facing something that nobody else can even relate to. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I found it very interesting when one young man was talking about coming home and when someone asked him what happened to his arm (which had to be amputated due to a combat injury) he replied "I lost it in Iraq". The response was "Whoa...you mean that's still going on?" The film does not pull any punches however, as it will come across at times as one sided, but why not? These men and women were there, why don't we listen to what they have to say? I don't think that's too much to ask. What I found ironic (though not surprising) was the parallels to Vietnam in the terms of how the bureaucratic process deals with these men and women after they come back home. The paperwork nightmare of trying to get help from the same people who sent them over there, in harms way in the first place, shows that we have not yet broken the cycle when it comes to our veterans. They are sent off to combat and come back needing physical, psychological and monetary assistance in all ranges and forms, yet continue to get the runaround with a large amount of red tape and denial of recognition of their situation.

War is hell. It always has been. I know after watching this that I want to do everything I can to make sure that the veterans are not whisked aside and in some cases, reprimanded for speaking out about the war. The film does a good job showing us just how much combat these people are facing; some go for weeks without rest. It also showed how easily that the Iraqi civilians are killed, even though it may be accidental, just furthering the trauma that the living have to deal with when they survive and try to come home to assume, if they can, a civilian role in life again. Nightmares, tension, and sleepless nights coupled with a multitude of other issues now face them, and again, it was not surprising to learn that the same process that sent them off and could send many off again and again, is not doing everything in their power to help them when they return.

Overall its a great documentary that I did not feel was at all in poor taste, but powerfully truthful in showing what combat veterans are going through today both on the battlefield and off."
Still another perspective on the "war"
Timothy P. Scanlon | Hyattsville, MDUSA | 10/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While at Camp Democracy a few weeks ago across from the White House, I met one of the guys who testified in this film--the day I ran across a reference to it on the web. Thanks to Amazon.com for having it available!

I continue to write on different "perspectives" on the war in Iraq. There's lies, corruption, oil, econmomics. But one of the primary perspectives is that of those who're fighting it! (That, I confess, I had forgotten!)

Logically, the film starts with the basic training of those entering the military. The text of the story clarifies that even in World War II, there were some who wondered what they were fighting and why. So training became more focused. One navy objector claimed they get up comically early every day thereby keeping the recruits tired all the time--and mor open to "influence." The word "kill" is repeated so much that it becomes like "eat." Then there's the "group dynamic" one of the Marines referred to: it seems to be normal to kill. (One testified that we ALL have at one time or another wanted to kill someone. But we don't, for any number of reasons. But in today's basic training, the concept of killing becomes so standard that we don't even question it. And there IS something wrong with that!)

Then there's the war itself. The guys--and women, remember they're in combat now too--commented that they were constantly under pressure. Anyone, women, kids, could be armed and dangerous. And the navy guy stated that they were seen as weak and inhibited if they DIDN'T kill someone. Body count became a badge of honor!

This is what caused many of those--and at least half of those who testified were Marines, the alleged cream of the crop of the killing machine, as I think one of them stated (I'm paraphrasing him.)--to challenge the rectitude of their being there. One shot a woman in a split-second decision, assuming she was either giving in or would blow up his comrades. He shot twice and the rest of his company opened fire. He went to the body, or what was left of it, and found she had a white flag in her hand.

That led to the story of those who returned. The one who'd shot the woman went to a counsellor who objected (!) to working with a "conscientious objector." He asked her, "Are you crazy? You won't work with me because I reject killing innnocent civilians?" And he was a Marine staff seargent!

Funny. I was talking with my father, a WWII veteran, recently. He said that if this were Vietnam, many more would be dead; new medical techniques and technology are keeping them alive. This film confirmed that. One who testified was an army specialist. The viewer doesn't know until later in the film that the young man lost his hand and the most effective use of his legs while in Iraq. Others were mangled, and one uses a forearm crutch for the rest of his life.

The point of all this is that neither the psychlogicaly nor the physically wounded are receiveing adequate care on their return. (One who testified was I think an army ranger, and officer, said the the psychologial effects on those who return from this war will be the most devestating.) First, they return without any acclimitizing, i.e., it's NOT normal to blow someone away because they cut you off on the highway, then some have gone so far as to commit suicide. The family of one Marine suicide victim comments several times throughout the film that they didn't even see the effects of the conflict on their son--to whom, incidentally, the film is dedicated.

I'm almost giving away too much. I find this film to be a gem. There are many conscientious objectors in the ranks of the troops there--one testified in the film that two thirds of the troops there want only to get home so, he asserts, the "support the troops" platitude is inappropriate. And many who've returned are objecting, to the pointless killing and the inadequate treatment once they return.

I encourage you to see this, and show it to others. I'm planning a showing or two at my house!
"
Moving and disturbing
Alastair Farrugia | Malta, EU | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary shows several Iraq war veterans who are wounded or traumatised, and the relatives of some who died. These are mostly veterans and relatives who are disturbed by what they saw and did, or simply by the lack of treatment that they themselves received.

Some are motivated by opposition to the war, but not all, and the documentary focuses almost completely on the soldiers' experiences, not on politics.

Of course, there are many vets who support the war, but over 1,000 active-duty members of the US military have signed an Appeal for Redress of Grievances that calls for "the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq".

I had read about much of this elsewhere, so it was not such a surprise for me, but I still found the documentary moving."