It Made my Heart Ache

brothersatwar“I needed to know why” [two of my brothers were putting their lives on the line in the Army in Iraq.] That is the reason Director Jake Rademacher gave for making the movie Brothers at War. I saw the movie this afternoon. I’m still kind of recovering. I don’t know if Rademacher answered his question about why. I can tell you he answered the what. The movie chronicles Rademacher’s two trips to Iraq during which he tried to figure our just what his brothers did there. Now we know.

Without any gratuitous violence we saw exactly what it was like to do his two brother’s jobs in the Army, in Iraq. It was interesting and scary and funny and sad. I think Rademacher came away with what he wanted to know. He gives the rest of us a kind of “month in the life” of just a few of the people who put their lives on the line for our country every day. In the process he was able to show the burdens his brother’s military service placed on his family; he also showed the the rewards the brothers themselves found in their service.

I can’t say I enjoyed watching the movie exactly. I can tell you it moved me profoundly. What it showed about the relationships of brothers was deeply affecting. The five brothers weren’t all the same. They were living different lives like most siblings. Even the two in the Army didn’t seem much alike. But the bond between the brothers (and their two sisters) was a tangible thing.

I wish I could make my older sons go see this movie, together.  (I can’t, by the way, make them do anything – they are purported grown-ups.) I wish there was some way to impart the feeling the men had for each other to my sons. It made my heart ache. For my older sons, who don’t have the feelings I saw on the screen today. For all the families who are going through, or have gone through, the trials of being separated from their loved ones who serve. I highly recommend the movie, even if it isn’t always fun to watch.

Cross-posted at Not Exactly a Princess

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One Response

  1. I think I got the same thing you did out of the movie. It was wonderful to see those relationships and the comparisons between the brothers in arms and the brothers in blood. And now we know exactly what a “day in the month” is like, as you say. If I had a loved one currently deployed, it would be very hard to watch. Even now, thinking about the future scares me. But I’m glad that I saw it.

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