Review: ‘The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends’

Presenting scathing testimony from Iraq War vets and a palpable anger about the plight of American service people, "The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends" will likely have difficulty securing a broadcast or cable niche. Look for limited theatrical and a vigorous life on DVD.

Presenting scathing testimony from Iraq War vets and a palpable anger about the plight of American service people, “The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends” will likely have difficulty securing a broadcast or cable niche. Look for limited theatrical and a vigorous life on DVD, especially if producer director Patricia Foulkrod follows the Robert Greenwald model of political niche marketing.

“Ground Truth” asserts that the U.S. military, in an era of cuts in manpower, equipment and health care, has neither the interest nor inclination to deal with the human wreckage it creates — and that Iraq is creating more volatile wreckage than any war in our history.

As one of the pic’s subjects explains, the U.S. military’s aim with new recruits is to make them capable of taking human life when they’re “not in a state of rage.” And that psychological manipulation, along with the number of civilians killed by U.S. forces, is making the post-traumatic stress aspect of the Iraq War more severe than ever.

Foulkrod has astounding footage, the most disturbing of which she says she gleaned from the Internet, and from soldiers who wanted to share it: A cluster of computer images, for example, each represents Iraqi civilians blown to bits via a remote rocket launch.

A soldier tells his first-hand story of killing an Iraqi woman who was approaching a tank, only to find later she was carrying a white flag. The remorse felt by Foulkrod’s subjects is palpable. Had she obtained some counterarguments from the military, the film would have had more balance and more heft.

Among other aspects that hamper the pic are the musical interludes, which trivialize the grave mood, and several interviews that reiterate points already made.

But the substance of the movie is potent, and so powerfully presented by those who have fought and are still fighting a controversial war, that the message of “Ground Truth” cannot be dismissed.

The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends

Production

A Ground Truth production, in association with Plum Pictures and Radioaktivefilm. Produced by Patricia Foulkrod. Executive producers, Faiz Kayyem, Louise Wannier, Andrew Mysko, Jodie Evans, Dal La Magna. Directed by Patricia Foulkrod.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Reuben Aaronson; editor, Rob Hall; music, Dave Hodge; musical supervisors, Kevin Dowling, Robbie Adams; sound, Sam Lehman. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 22, 2006. Running time: 72 MIN.

With

Herold Noel, Charles Anderson, Kelly Dougherty, Robert Acosta.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading