Gunner Palace
June 4, 2004 8:50 AM   Subscribe

This is the war you haven't seen in the news. Michael Tucker spent a month in Iraq with the 2/3 Field Artillery (aka the "Gunner" Battalion), and Gunner Palace is his forthcoming documentary. (Three soldiers from the unit were on the cover of Time's 2003 Person of the Year issue.) There are two QuickTime trailers from the movie. [via WarBlogging]
posted by kirkaracha (14 comments total)
I don't see the point of the quicktime movies. Other than making war look cool. What kind of a title is 'Gunner Palace' anyways. Pointless and sad.
posted by disgruntled at 9:32 AM on June 4, 2004

What are you talking about? What could be cooler then troops who are rappers! Raping troops man!
posted by delmoi at 9:54 AM on June 4, 2004

Did you read the piece, disgruntled? They're the Gunner Batallion. They live in Uday Hussein's old palace. What were they supposed to name it, the Swamp?
posted by junkbox at 9:55 AM on June 4, 2004

Think you forgot to read the article before asking.

Maybe if you had family/friends/loved ones over there, you'd think different about these quicktime films.

Making the war look "cool" is a matter of opinion. I'm about as conservative as a person can get, but still I find nothing cool about war, it's just sometimes a necessary evil.
posted by the_0ne at 9:55 AM on June 4, 2004

The unit, 2/3 Field Artillery aka the "Gunner" Battalion was based in Uday Hussein's Azimiya Palace-sitting in the middle of Adhamiya, the most volatile area in Baghdad. The Palace itself, now referred to as "Gunner Palace", was a welcome retreat from the chaos of Baghdad's streets.

Yes. Where did he come up with that sad, pointless title? Looks fascinating to me - I'm hoping those trailers are kind of a stylized taste of how up-close and personal this portrait of the occupation is going to be.

Nothing about a release date or anything on that site, though. Think this'll make the theatres any time soon?

(On preview: Beaten to the punch on the self-evident nature of the title, I see . . .)
posted by gompa at 9:58 AM on June 4, 2004

Both trailers made me lose complete interest in ever seeing the film or even reading the accompanying text.
posted by dobbs at 10:05 AM on June 4, 2004

I read the accompanying text before I watched the trailers. I am most definitely interested in seeing this film. Read the text; it gives more perspective than the trailers do alone.

The article text is poignant and personal. The filmmaker spent time with the soldiers and is tells their side of the story. These guys are in an incredibly difficult and dangerous situation.

I find nothing cool about war, it's just sometimes a necessary evil.

100% agreed. What's even more tragic is when it's an unnecessary evil.
posted by Loudmax at 10:38 AM on June 4, 2004

Your right, I didn't read the text because the trailers were so stupid. Hey, I love documentaries, especially Frontline on PBS. This film just looks like a bunch of 'homies' hanging out, rappin', killling, getting killed, smoking weed, yeah yeah yeah. Maybe I'm wrong - not my fault - the trailers didn't make me want to read the text. I'll be spending my money on Fahrenheit 911.
posted by disgruntled at 10:52 AM on June 4, 2004

I think the documentary is meant to show the lives of the soldiers as people, and doesn't have anything to do with the politics:
After seeing this war firsthand, I don't have any easy answers. In fact, I may have no answers. You try to find good in something like this; you try to find a reason. You try to explain death. I asked soldiers what they thought and their answers were simple. After nearly a year, it wasn't about Iraq, the Iraqis, democracy, Donald Rumsfeld or oil. It was about them. They just wanted to finish the job they were sent to do so they could go home.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:03 AM on June 4, 2004


Did you mean to have one "p" in the second instance? If so, bully for you.
posted by dfowler at 11:09 AM on June 4, 2004

This film just looks like a bunch of 'homies' hanging out, rappin', killling, getting killed, smoking weed

Yeah, man, I hate it when documentaries humanize their subjects like that. Doesn't this guy know that soldiers should only appear on film as a faceless mass of pawns in a political argument?

I like Michael Moore too - though I think of him as more of a polemicist/satirist than a documentarian - but what's compelling to me about these Gunner Palace clips is the idea of a soldier's-eye view of this conflict, which is almost wholly lacking from the majority of the media coverage. If you've gotten close enough to your subjects to set up a pretty set-piece of one of 'em playing the national anthem on guitar against a desert sunset, I'm betting you've got some intimate coverage of everything involved in being a soldier in this war - good, bad and ugly.

So again: anyone know anything about when and where this doc might be shown? I'd like to see it.
posted by gompa at 11:57 AM on June 4, 2004

I didn't watch the vids, just read the page. It's a good read and made me want to see the film.
posted by wsg at 12:11 PM on June 4, 2004

Incidentally, I wonder what films there are out there that show the Iraqi point of view (or points of view, rather). I presume (hope) such documentaries exist. They would make a good companion piece to this film.
posted by Loudmax at 12:18 PM on June 4, 2004

RTFA people. I'd say this documentary has the context to make fahreinhiet 911 look like unsolicited political propaganda. The trailers aren't terribly effective in explaining that this is a firsthand account of the troops ...but knowing that it is you should see that this is likely to be a VERY effective and cathartic documentary. Plus it's going to pull in a larger audience and show them what war really looks like (not that I know). Thanks a ton for this link, i GOTTA see this film (not to say i don't like micheal moore for his propaganda skills, but this looks like it may be more honest).
posted by NGnerd at 10:45 PM on June 5, 2004

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