Sunday, June 28, 2009

"The Hurt Locker"

Shortly after the Saddam's statue was toppled in Firdos Square, America found itself embroiled in an IED war. In fact "IED" is now in the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. And yet little is known about the service men that defuse IEDs - the EOD Techs.

A few articles have emerged including a September 2005 Playboy article entitled, The Man in the Bomb Suit by Mark Boal. Mark saw EOD work up close while embedded with an Army EOD Team serving in Iraq in 2004. His article grew into a screenplay and film that Boal co-produced with Kathryn Bigelow called The Hurt Locker.

Boal and Bigelow were kind enough to share The Hurt Locker with the EOD Memorial Foundation at a private screening last Thursday. Jim O'Neil, the foundation's executive director put the word out to the EOD community and the event became a fundraiser. Thus, the theater was filled with EOD Techs of all ages - a discerning audience.

Jim set the tone when he said, "Remember guys, this is not a training film!" I knew exactly what Jim was driving at. I did not expect realism as much as entertainment. Still, I brought my father, wife, and son to see the film with me. I hoped they could see the life of an EOD Tech - live and in color. We were not disappointed.

After the film I enjoyed a short conversation with Mark and Kathryn. Mark and I corresponded while he was working on the screenplay. I even sent him a copy of my book proposal for a non-fiction companion to Proximity (Which is still in the works).

"What did you think?" he asked.
"Actually, I'm impressed," I responded, "I think you guys really captured the essence of EOD work."

I was and they did.

The whole package - writing, cinematography, acting - vividly depicted what it means to go down range. This led to the true value of the film. On the car ride home, my family asked question after question about life as an EOD Tech. As a result they more clearly understand the courage and sacrifice of our nation's EOD Techs.

So for my EOD brethren I say, "Go see this film...and take your loved ones. You won't regret it."

For Mark and Kathryn, I'd like to say, "Thanks for donating you time to share this film with the EOD Memorial Foundation. More importantly, thanks for telling this story."

1 comment:

Capt_Jim said...

I've posted your entry to FragWeb (citing this blog page)

Ranger Jim
Initial success or complete failure