The current Iraq War is possibly the most misreported American military engagement in history. Embed reporters are heavily censored, each network has its own spin, and it's simply not in our government's interest to disseminate details on what's really going on. The driving concept behind The War Tapesis so simple, it's amazing no one's tried it up to this point: attack the media problem head-on by giving soldiers small, consumer quality camcorders and, communicating with them nightly from the US via the internet, allow them to tell their own stories from the center of the conflict. Director Deborah Scranton has managed something that I haven't seen in documentary film or television in a long time. Under her shaping, the selected soldiers aren't particularly brilliant, nor especially brave; they sometimes talk themselves into corners, and sometimes, know exactly what to say; they're sometimes intensely unlikeable, and sometimes, incredibly sympathetic. In other words, the director has managed to shape real people's lives into a drama, without imposing ideological filters, and without sacrificing what makes them real.