What better time to hear the views of actual American combat soldiers rather than the rhetoric of the politicians who send them to war? In Boulder this week, three eye-opening documentaries -- including one that's rarely been seen since its 1972 release -- will give voice to what the Pentagon likes to call "boots on the ground."
Occupation: Dreamland was arguably the best of last year's Iraq films -- an unsettling visit, over several months, with the members of an American army platoon on duty in dangerous, bomb-scarred Fallujah. Their opinions are startlingly diverse, their day-to-day lives hazardous, their futures bleaker than we might imagine. David Zeigler's Sir, No Sir! was also released in 2005, thirty years after its subjects -- dissidents within the U.S. military -- helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. In person: Vietnam-era conscientious objectors Ron McMahan and John Huyler, both of whom served in the U.S. Navy. A cry from the heart by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Winter Soldier was made 34 years ago, but the testimony of its troubled war veterans remains as disturbing today as then.
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The three films will screen in the University of Colorado's International Film Series, in Muenzinger Auditorium on CU's Boulder campus. The schedule: Occupation: Dreamland, 7 and 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday, January 26-27; Sir, No Sir!, 7 p.m. only, Saturday, January 28; Winter Soldier, 7 and 9 p.m., Sunday, January 29. For more information, call 303-492-1531.