The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends
Patricia Foulkrod, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Ruben Aaronson, Rob Hall, David Hodge, Sam Lehmer
The military has long realized that war is fought on many fronts; the battle at home -- getting the media to represent the war as a battle between clearly identifiable sides and include a transparent understanding of its mission -- is as essential to victory as actions on the battlefield. Thus, Patricia Foulkrod's resonant examination of the war in Iraq is both a timely and welcome contrast that offsets the omnipresent flag-waving portraits of heroism and glory that have so dominated recent war reportage. Even more critically, the Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends doesn't simply inquire into policies about Iraq, but also scrutinizes the effects of modern warfare, especially on its combatants. The film follows the process of deception that is as intrinsic to the military as guns and MREs (meals ready to eat) -- from recruitment to basic training, from battlefield orders to postwar support for wounds, both physical and emotional. And although after Vietnam post-traumatic stress disorder was widely recognized as a consequence of war, especially one where combatants and missions are cloudy, the military has steadfastly refused to acknowledge it or admit that it's happening again. The Ground Truth is an honest and powerful representation of what killing does to soldiers and the bravery it requires to come home and tell the truth.