Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Honoring Our Dead

HBO's premiere this weekend is more than a movie. "Taking Chance" has all the elements of a feature film--actors, plot and dramatic form--but it is an act of reverence and respect for young men and women who go off to die for their country in distant places.

As the Hollywood elite dress up to congratulate themselves at the glitzy Oscars tonight, this 90 minutes, based on the experience of a Marine colonel accompanying the coffin of a fallen young man home for burial is a reminder of the power of the medium to move us deeply with simple truths.

"Taking Chance" comes at a time when the President and the Pentagon are deciding whether or not to let cameras record the arrival of coffins from the Middle East. (Dorian De Wind has an excellent review of the arguments on both sides at The Moderate Voice.)

What is so heartbreaking about the film is seeing the love and care lavished on those who lives end before their time in hate and violence. There are no special effects, no swelling music to cue our emotions, no grandiose speeches, just the simple truth of how hard it is for all of us to lose them.

It should be required watching for all politicians.

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