Fighting for Life
NEW YORK -- "Fighting for Life" by two-time Oscar winner Terry Sanders ("Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision") doesn't go into the provenance or the politics of the Iraqi war. Rather it concentrates on the soldiers wounded and maimed as a result of fighting there and the dedicated doctors and nurses who treat them. Definitely not for the squeamish, "Fighting for Life" will prove deeply moving to audience members of any political persuasion. The film's exclusive theatrical engagement is at New York City's Quad Cinemas.
Clearly granted wide-ranging access, the filmmaker covers several angles of his topic, from the MASH-style units in the battlefields to the Medevac fights in which the soldiers are transported to hospitals in Iraq and Germany where they are given more extensive treatment to the Uniformed Services University in Maryland in which the doctors and nurses are trained.
The latter setting provides the film with one of its most memorable segments, in which the students participate in a simulated casualty situation featuring a procession of extremely realistic prosthetic wounds that wouldn't seem out of place in a typical Hollywood gorefest.
A particularly poignant personal account is related via the profile of 21-year-old Army Specialist Crystal Davis, who lost one leg and had the other severely damaged as a result of an IED.
The film pulls no punches in its graphic depictions of the physical damage inflicted on both American and Iraqi soldiers, delivering a series of searing images of the myriad unimaginable ways in which human bodies can be torn apart by bullets and bombs.