“It’s not about retribution, it’s about justice. Send me. I want to make somebody pay for killing my brothers and sisters.”
Greg Barker’s compelling documentary entitled Legion of Brothers focuses primarily on two United States Special Forces units sent into Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attack.
With the help of a ragtag bunch of anti-Taliban Afghan fighters (the Northern Alliance), the objectives were simple: Disrupt the rise of Al-Qaeda in the country, and effectively overthrow the Taliban government.
A detailed journey of the four-month secret mission is depicted in a number of ways — whether it be personal anecdotes or archival footage. There were a number of themes explored within the piece. Personal accounts unveiled equal parts sorrow and grief, with the overarching message of brotherhood clearly present.
The narrative speaks to the much larger situation currently entangling the United States in the Middle East. This crew (of less than 100 people) withstood both physical and mental hardship en route to liberating Afghans from the evil clutches of both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As the story progresses, the audience becomes privy to an ill-executed mission — which ultimately proves to be horrifically detrimental.
The complexity of this piece was striking. These individuals are unapologetically reflective — offering sincerely visceral accounts. As such, the opaque curtains of pain are drawn back considerably.
The audience was introduced to the families of the surviving Green Berets. These interactions humanize the former infantrymen in a way some fail to see when picturing the military. Barker does a tremendous job to illuminate the vulnerability clearly present with many of these individuals.
The neutral commentary also allows for an evading of any political slant — something almost unheard of in today’s age.
Legion of Brothers will open in theaters on Friday, June 2nd at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in Los Angeles. A Q&A with Barker and film subject Jason Amerine will occur on Saturday, June 3rd following the 7:40 p.m. showing.
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