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The Tillman Story [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Pat Tillman gave up his professional football career to join the Army Rangers in 2002—and became an instant symbol of patriotic fervor and unflinching duty. But the truth about Pat Tillman is far more complex, and ultimately more heroic, than the caricature created by the media. And when the government tried to turn his death into war propaganda, they took on the wrong family. From her home in the Santa Cruz mountains, Pat’s mother, Dannie Tillman, led the family’s crusade to reveal the truth beneath the mythology of their son’s life and death. Featuring candid and revelatory interviews with Pat’s fellow soldiers as well as his family, Amir Bar-Lev’s emotional and insightful film not only shines a light on the shady aftermath of Pat’s death and calls to task the entire chain of command but also examines themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself.

Special Features

Commentary with Director Amir Bar-Lev

Product Details

  • Directors: Amir Bar-Lev
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CLDB9U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John F. Rooney VINE VOICE on October 9, 2010
"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.
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Format: DVD
Amir Bar-Lev's film "The Tillman Story" contributes to the restoration of Pat Tillman's legacy by honoring the man, not the myth. The iconoclast, not the icon. As his mother said, "Pat would have wanted to be remembered as an individual, not as a stock figure or political prop. Pat was a real hero, not what they used him as."

Amir Bar-Lev, the film's director, tells three stories that interweave together throughout his film: a biography of Pat Tillman (growing up, playing in the NFL, joining the Army Rangers with his brother Kevin after 9/11), how he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 and his friendly-fire death covered up by the Army, and his family's battle to learn the truth after smokescreens were thrown in their face by the highest levels of the Army and government (both Republicans and Democrats).

"The Tillman Story" is an apt title. The film follows the outline of Mary Tillman's memoir "Boots on the Ground by Dusk," many of the interviews are with members of the Tillman family (mother, father, brother, and wife) and the film is centered around their experiences in the aftermath of Pat Tillman's death. The Tillman's are a loyal, close-knit family that displays much more honor and integrity than their country's leadership.

The film uses nicely selected & edited news clips and interviews that portray an iconoclastic Pat Tillman not widely known to the public - a fiercely independent thinker, an avid reader, and critic of the Iraq war ("...this war is so ----ing illegal"). Pat was a remarkable man who was driven by a core of honesty and integrity, led by personal example, and lived his life intensely.

See the film. Nearly everything most people think they know about Pat Tillman, his family, and the story is wrong.
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Format: DVD
This fascinating documentary depicts Pat Tillman as a successful, likable, down to earth freethinker who gave up his success in the NFL to join the US military. Whatever motivated him to enlist was quickly shattered when he got to Iraq. As he witnessed bombs destroy an Iraqi city he declared the war an illegal one. The US military hailed his enlistment & subsequent death in heroic detail, undoubtedly encouraging many young men to enlist.

This documentary is excellent because it shatters the romanticism of war with a real story of an honorable man & family who were manipulated to promote war propaganda. You can't help but empathize with the Tillman family for their loss & betrayal. The military's upper ranks messed with a strong mother & the wrong family. The Tillman family did as much as they could to hold whoever ordered the cover up accountable, and alas, no real punishment was handed out. It shows the raw reality of war & unaccountability of the military's top brass. All they had to do was "not recall" when they received a top secret memo. Convenient defense! Watch this movie then talk about it & show it to your friends. It's an important story that begs discussion & illumination. Rest in peace Pat Tillman.
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Format: Blu-ray
Loved the documentary and I am sure people's reactions will fall in line with their political views, but subconsciously this film will linger with you. I can say this movie has stayed with me and the character of Pat Tillman has inspired me. Which before this film I was indifferent to him (mainly because of how distorted his myth has become, from everyone that speaks of him without any knowledge of him), but to hear his family speak of him and see the pain they carry on their faces yet still remain inspired to carry on and tap into the strength that is their son and brother. Everyone should see it and process it themselves, if you do you can not help but be moved.
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