Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Film
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Inspired by the passing of U.S.O. perennial Bob Hope, Friars Club roast-master Jeffrey Ross takes Drew Carey up on an invitation to join the U.S.O. in their ongoing mission - delivering punch-lines to the front lines. Having just bought a new camcorder, he travels to Iraq and captures his rare, intimate, and often times hilarious experience on camera. Armed with nothing but that camcorder and some jokes, Ross shoots his own life-changing experience as he travels alongside six other well known comics, entertaining battle weary G.I.'s stationed in some of the most remote parts of the Sunni Triangle.
When standup comedian Jeffrey Ross joined Drew Carey's U.S.O. show that toured through Iraq during the first year of the American occupation, he took along a video camera and made a clumsy but strikingly intimate portrait of the armed forces. Performing in venues as different as the Baghdad Civic Center and a camouflaged camp in the middle of the desert, seven comedians (Ross, Carey, Kathy Kinney, Blake Clark, Kyle Dunnigan, Andres Fernandez, and Rocky LaPorte) did what they could to entertain soldiers who suffered sand, heat, and being shot at--but the brief snippets of rough comedy are little more than a sidelight. The most intriguing aspects of Patriot Act (which, despite its title, is largely apolitical) are the simple conversations with G.I.s, bellhops, translators, and others, who endure a difficult situation with a weary smile and a little glimpse of hope. It's the ordinary effort of life that comes through, even when surrounded by bombed buildings and armored vehicles. Ross has no great insights, but he proves an affable and earnest tour guide. --Bret Fetzer
- More Patriot Act: additional scenes
- Amsterdam: The Five-Hour Layover
- "A Jeffery Ross Home Movie" short: more footage from another USO tour
- Blackhawk Rides: additional aerials of Iraq
- Director's statement
- A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Patriot Act will be donated to the USO
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Kudos to Jeffrey, his fellow comedians, and to all those who make the trek to entertain troops at war. Your sacrifice, and the risk you take, is greatly appreciated by those of us in uniform. I'm sure Bob Hope is smiling appreciatively.
As for the participants, I was able to meet all of them during their visit to Baghdad. They were all very thankful for us troops as we were all thankful to them. I remember seeing the small video camera Jeffrey Ross had braced on the table next to him as we all walked by to get signatures. Their willingness to take photos with us soldiers might have extended their visit and our line time but it was well worth the wait.
All of this is why I enjoyed the movie and hope you will too.
Movie "Patriot Act" Shows the heart of why people entertain the service people all over the world.