Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq

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10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept 9
HBO


The tragedy that is the war in Iraq is now big business in the media, with a frenzy that's buzzing around it in a much more subtle way than maybe some other big-headline news stories: the death of Princess Diana, the death Anna Nicole Smith or even the latest misstep by a teen celebrity. But stories emerge and re-emerge about this war, and documentaries are popping up with more speed and energy.

The latest to get into the act and put his name on a documentary is actor James Gandolfini, who executive produces "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq," a heavy-handed look at the returning vets from Iraq who are now maimed, psychologically and physically. "Alive Day Memories" is a maudlin affair that is tragic in its subject matter but manipulative to its core.

Gandolfini sits and talks with 10 men and women who fought in Iraq and who narrowly escaped death. The day they escaped with their lives is termed their "Alive Day." The documentary is self-righteous and pretentious (we even get to witness the production taking place, including the minutiae of Gandolfini shaking hands with the vets just before and after he interviews them).

The war is horrific, but the media seem to be making money and careers off of it. Looks like it's just begun.
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