63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
A Powerful Documentary,
"The Tillman Story" is a powerful, hard-hitting documentary about the most famous enlistee in the U.S. armed forces following the Nine-Eleven attacks, Pat Tillman. He was a famous NFL football player. The Bush administration realized the publicity value of this celebrity. He and his brother enlisted together, and his reasons for signing up were really not made clear until this film. He and his brother served a term in Iraq and then went on for duty in Afghanistan. He was a bright, thoughtful young man who read some anti-war stuff by people like Noam Chomsky. He was killed in action in Afghhanistan and was awarded the Silver Star for heroism.
When he first died there was a great deal of ceremony regarding his heroic death. At one ceremony John McCain spoke. Then information began to leak out. His death was not by enemy fire but by friendly fire. This film was the first time I have ever heard such incidents referred to as fratricide. That's a very strong, loaded term.
In this film there are many interviews. Particularly effective are the ones by the mother, father and brother. The mother particularly demanded the truth and she was persistent and systematic in her pursuit of the truth. The military amd the highest levels of government were in on the lie about Pat's death. They knew that the cause was not enemy fire.
The mother at first believed that in the heat of battle, Pat's fellow soldiers shot indiscriminately out of fear and because they felt in great danger. The government investigated the case and reluctantly provided the family with a box of thousands of pages of evidentiary documents. One observer said they hoped to swamp the family with paper work which incidentally had all names redacted. The mother learned that Pat's fellow soldiers might have fired because they wanted to be in the action, to experience the exhilaration of combat.
The father was a lawyer who knew how to sift through the material. Eventually all of the family pressure resulted in a Congressional hearing where the top generals and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld appeared. All of them denied knowledge and culpability. The administration had used Pat's death as a propaganda tool to boost the public's faith in the war effort.
This film is devastating in its revelations and has an important message for everyone. Nations often manipulate the news for their own purposes. Pat Tillman is still a hero and great patriot, and his family are also heroes and patriots.