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Scenes from the front line of life in Portland, Oregon, USA.


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Jason Holliston
Monday, June 14, 2004  
Gunner Palace

I've had this bookmarked for a week or so, and finally had a chance to sit down and read the narrative the film maker lays out for a behind-the-scenes look at a work-in-progress film named "Gunner Palace". The film maker traveled to Baghdad twice, spending about a month there each time, and spent his time with the 2/3 Field Artillery (aka the Gunner Battalion).

The movie looks like it'll be great. I haven't yet seen a decent documentary about life for the American soldier in Iraq, at least without overt political purpose. This movie looks like it's an answer to my wishes. A slice of the narrative:

This had become their movie, not mine-each person with their own reference. For the older officers and NCOs it was MASH. They brought aloha shirts for poolside BBQs. For others it was Platoon and Full Metal Jacket. You could see it in the way they rode in their HUMVEES. One foot hanging out the door-helicopters with wheels. For the teenagers, it was Jackass Goes to War. This was a war unlike any other. They had Playstations, souped-up gaming laptops and Internet access-Paris Hilton and Amazon on demand. The emails and the Sat phones helped them stay in touch with family, but all the technology in the world couldn't bring them home.

There's a couple trailers up on the site: one of a soldier doing freestyle rap about his experiences in Iraq, and another incredible piece of a soldier playing the Star Spangled Banner on a rooftop in Baghdad while AK-47 fire is heard in the background.

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