Posted by: Lloyd Jansen | November 15, 2007

Movie Review – Soldiers of Conscience

SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE – Documentary Film – Catch this if you can.  With graphic footage of the war in Iraq, the film lets eight soldiers discuss why they either continue to serve in the military and Iraq or opt for conscientious objector status.  Half of this selected group opts to pursue C.O. status in the face of harassment and, for some, criminal prosecution.  The dialogue and the accompanying stories are profound and provoke “conscientious” thought about war.   One reason that it is hard to pursue C.O. status is that, under U.S. law, one must oppose all wars.  A soldier who opposes a specific war only, thus, is subject to prosecution.  (Locally we can look at the case of Lt. Ehren Watada, not in the film, who has found himself in this situation.)  Various of those who oppose C.O. status essentially argue that if the U.S. is in a war, then that war, ipso facto, is about defending the U.S.  The film strives to let each side speak and would serve well as a focus for a discussion group. 

It is playing around the country and I was able to see it at the end of a one week run last week at the new SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) Theater.  I didn’t see it in time to post a review before the run ended.  The only public screening coming up that is remotely local is one night only this coming Saturday, 11/17, in Olympia.  Apparently, churches and other organizations have been able to get copies for their own showings.  More info, including a trailer, is at http://www.socfilm.com/.

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