On Sept. 13, 2001, after watching footage of President Bush brandishing his bullhorn atop the rubble of the World Trade Center, Tomas Young, a 22-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., enlisted in
Produced and directed by former talk show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, "Body of War" is the story of Young's political awakening in the aftermath of his experience, set against shifting politics and a growing awareness of the machinations that led to the war. Donahue and Spiro capture the stark contrast between the noble impulses of ordinary people such as Young, his fiancee, Brie, and his mother, Cathy, and the actions of the the U.S. House, Senate and Bush administration by letting them play out in alternating scenes.
We learn how Young signed up in a rush of patriotism and was followed by his younger brother; how Brie, having known him briefly before he shipped out to Iraq, resolved to marry him and become his full-time caretaker; how his mother cared for him while he was at
Young joins a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War and spends his honeymoon in Crawford, Texas, during a vigil led by
What's striking about the footage of the march up to war -- and who'd have thought you could ever call C-SPAN footage striking -- is the rushed, hollow, echoed tone the rhetoric takes and how quickly and inexorably the resolution to authorize the use of force in Iraq is passed despite the measured, impassioned objections of 23 people, including Sen.