Though the title of John Laurence's groundbreaking documentary I Am an American Soldier: One Year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne suggests the U.S. Iraqi war as filtered through one soldier's perspective, the film actually views the occupation through the <I>collective</I> eyes of the men in the 101st Airborne Division. Laurence covers 14 months of military operations, from pre-operative training in the U.S., to deployment in the Middle East, to the men's return to the States. The firsthand perspective offered by the picture enables Laurence to provide an intimate view of battlefield occurrences and individualized experiences, unfiltered through media bias. What emerges is a portrait of men who are actually drawn into tighter emotional bonds as they face collective risk. Throughout the film, the men describe, in vivid, unchecked detail, the reality of their experiences in the U.S. military.
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