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Off to War - From Rural Arkansas to Iraq


Save 1% on the Off to War - From Rural Arkansas to Iraq by Kino International at Movi Ki. MPN: Relay Time: 452 min; 4Videos. Hurry! Limited time offer. Offer valid only while supplies last. From the farms and fields of Arkansas to the deadly streets of Baghdad, Off To War tracks the citizen soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard as they came face to face with the horrors of war. Never before has a unit of soldiers been followed from the beginning to the end of their deployment at war. In April 2004, filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud arrived in Iraq with the Arkansas National Guard during one of the bloodiest months to date. Within twenty-four hours of their arrival, one of the


Product Description & Reviews

From the farms and fields of Arkansas to the deadly streets of Baghdad, Off To War tracks the citizen soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard as they came face to face with the horrors of war. Never before has a unit of soldiers been followed from the beginning to the end of their deployment at war. In April 2004, filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud arrived in Iraq with the Arkansas National Guard during one of the bloodiest months to date. Within twenty-four hours of their arrival, one of the Guardsmen lay dead. By the end of the first month, they had lost more soldiers than any other National Guard Brigade in Iraq. From actual scenes of full-scale combat to a soldier's funeral, from the birth of a first child to the heartbreaking return home of a critically injured soldier, Off To War tells the story of a war in a way it has never been told before - through the eyes of the soldiers and families back home who endured it. So you're, say, a turkey farmer in Clarksville, Arkansas. You sign up for the National Guard, thinking it'll be a fairly cushy gig, a chance to make a little extra cash and hang out with your pals on the occasional weekend. Next thing you know, you're on your way to Iraq, where it's about as cushy as a stone bed and every single day you stand a good chance of getting your rear end blown off. That's exactly what happened to the men who appear in Off to War -- From Rural Arkansas to Iraq, a four-disc, ten-episode 2005 documentary directed by Brent and Craig Renaud. Of the 2800 Arkansas National Guardsman called up in 2004, 57 were from Clarksville, and it's their stories that we follow most closely, from before they leave until after they return. These are plain, blue collar folks, mostly young, many with wives and families, whose 18-month deployment includes a full year in Iraq. At first, a few see it as "an opportunity." Others think it'll be "fun." Another says simply, "I love to fight." But they also face losing their jobs, their businesses, perhaps even their mariages, to say nothing of their lives. And once they actually get to Iraq, things change in a hurry, as the notion of winning hearts and minds turns to "It's not worth it" and "Why am I here?" Their equipment is ancient and appallingly inadequate. Their training is insufficient, to say the least ("They say you should train for the worst and hope for the best," says one. "We trained for the best, and the worst happened"). The irony of the U.S. Army rebuilding homes that they destroyed in the first place isn't lost on these soldiers; neither is the fact that many of the people they're there to "liberate" genuinely hate them and wish them dead (and some do in fact die). And while some remain committed to their duty and ideals, even if they're not sure what that means, most simply want to survive and go home. Meanwhile, the filmmakers also spend a good deal of time with the families the men left back in Arkansas as they do their best to cope in the absence of their principal breadwinners, wondering if their husbands and sons will come home alive and if it makes sense to vote for George W. Bush in November. All of this is presented in without artificial drama; there's no narration, just the voices of the men, women, and kids whose quotidian lives are being filmed. As a result, Off to War can get a little tedious over the course of its seven and a half hours. But so can life, and this program is about as real as reality TV gets. Extra features include commentary (by directors and soldiers) on some episodes, photos, extra scenes, and more. --Sam Graham

Features & Highlights

  • Factory sealed DVD

Additional Information

Manufacturer:Kino Lorber films
Brand:Kino International
Model:2254943
Part Number:Relay Time: 452 min; 4Videos
Publisher:Kino Lorber films
Studio:Kino Lorber films
MPN:Relay Time: 452 min; 4Videos
UPC:738329050122
EAN:0738329050122
Item Weight:0.69 pounds
Item Size:5.25 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches
Package Weight:1.45 pounds
Package Size:12.1 x 5 x 5 inches

Off to War - From Rural Arkansas to Iraq by Kino International

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Off to War - From Rural Arkansas to Iraq

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