There is no single superior format when it comes to documenting an issue. Non-fiction films have the advantage over fiction films in that they can give either a general overview, often with a sense of omniscience, or they can give a specific, personal study. Occasionally they can even provide a combined method. On a subject like Iraq War vets, both formats are necessary and effective. I will say, however, that I often prefer the broader documentaries, because with the narrower single-subject take I'm left wondering about the many other individuals. With technological accessibility what it is today, perhaps every Iraq War vet could get their own documentary -- but would this be at all sensible?

One vet is getting his own film thanks to garnering the attention of former talk-show host Phil Donahue. Tomas Young, a 24-year-old from Kansas City returned from the Iraq War paralyzed from the nipples down after being shot on his fourth day in country. Donahue, who believes his MSNBC show was canceled in 2003 because of his opposition to the war, met Young in 2004 while visiting Walter Reed Hospital with his friend Ralph Nader. Seeing as how he was then unemployed, he decided to shoot a documentary about the soldier. It is easy to imagine, too, that Donahue is making it for his own reasons, seeing it as his only outlet to speak out against the war and the media's mishandled coverage of it. However, he won't make any money off the film; he plans to donate any profits from the self-funded documentary to his wife's charity, St. Jude Hospital, and to Young.

categories Movies, Cinematical