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Filmmaker puts movie in hands of soldiers

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/ Documentary gives unique angle on war

A buzz-generating documentary opening today in the Bay Area presents a new way to approach the national conversation about the Iraq war, a debate that often gets derailed over whether the real story is being told there.

The filmmaker’s solution: Give video cameras to the soldiers on the ground and let them roll tape for a year, nearly uncensored.

The result is “The War Tapes,” a 94-minute film culled from 1,100 hours of footage, which is revolutionary on several levels. Not only is the film created in the same raw, user-generated manner that is powering the explosion of blogs and video-sharing sites on the Internet, it is bypassing the traditional media gatekeepers who some soldiers — and, for different reasons, anti-war activists — think are not telling the war’s true stories.

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Filed under: ethnography, research

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