It’s received favorable media attention and early reviews for quite some time—and we carried a story and trailer here long ago—and now the Tillman Story is finally arriving in theaters Friday. The Pat Tillman family has done Larry King this week and you may have already read about its shocking and honest revelations, and treatment of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and others.
The first reviews are in, almost all favorable, including one from Stephen Holden, just posted by the New York Times before publication in print on Friday. It calls it a "sorrowful, devastating documentary…clearsighted, emotionally steady," and it "persuasively" portrays Tillman’s family "as finer, more morally sturdy people than the cynical chain of command that lied to them and used their son as a propaganda tool."
Kenneth Turan of the LA Times open his review: "The Tillman Story is a story that won’t go away, won’t leave you alone, won’t let you feel at ease. Intensely dramatic, filled with elevated heroism, crass self-interest and blatant stupidity, it’s a paradigmatic narrative of our tendentious, turbulent times." And another veteran reviewer, Richard Corliss, in TIME magazine: "Meticulous in its amassing of interviews, news footage and Army documents, The Tillman Story plays like a mystery of epic proportions and awful implications."
Now here’s a lengthy and excellent Q&A with director Amir Bar-Lev just up at the Tribeca Film Festival site. Here’s an excerpt and a new trailer below. Also see my article from 2005 shortly after the full story started to break.
Tribeca: What was the biggest challenge in making this film? Were there roadblocks from the military?
Amir Bar-Lev: There’s really nothing in the film that another journalist couldn’t have reported on. And it was shocking to us to see—I mean, there is some investigative journalist involved in what we did, but not much—we couldn’t believe that it hadn’t been reported on! I’m not a big media critic or anything, but it does speak to how thin hard journalists are spread these days….