The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Movie Review:
Home of the Brave

Jun 18, 2007

Home of the Brave shows the impact of the war in Iraq on U.S. soldiers through the lives of four soldiers returning home from the war. To date 1.4 million people have served or are currently serving in Iraq. Tens of thousands have already shown signs of serious stress upon their return.

The movie starts in Iraq (filmed in Morocco) showing us the traumas that happened to the main characters. All four of the returning soldiers come home to Spokane, Washington. Samuel L. Jackson portrays a medical captain, a surgeon who is tormented by lost lives he could not save in war. He returns home not as the doctor he once was, but as an alcoholic, distant from his wife, unable to sleep at night, and prone to violence.

In the role of a military cargo driver, Jessica Biel plays a woman who returns home to face life as a single mother missing a hand and also suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson plays an army specialist who is haunted by the combat killing of an Iraqi woman. He ends up committing suicide. Brian Presley, a specialist whose childhood best friend dies in his arms in Iraq, returns home to his sweetheart only to find he has no other option but to go back to war.

The movie reveals something about the very real problems being faced by vets today. Problems like no job upon their return home. Brian Presley’s character is told by his old boss that he had to hire someone else. He gets a job at a movie theater selling tickets. The character played by “50 Cent” has problems getting benefits for his back injury that he got when he fell in combat. Samuel Jackson’s character has trouble getting along with his wife and teenage son. Jessica Biel’s character has trouble trying to function with an artificial limb, which is clumsy at best. Prior to the war she had been an athlete.

The movie also deals with the more subtle difficulties of feeling alienated from the society the four vets come back to. They can hardly think of anything but what happened in Iraq. The movie shows their pain and anguish and the pain of family members. It is a hard bridge for the two sides to cross.

This film is a film about soldiers. It doesn’t deal with what this brutal imperialist war has done to the people of Iraq. But unlike all the pro-war patriotic flag-waving films, it gives the strong impression that no one can come home unharmed by this horrendous war.