It’s not every day that you get to have a conversation with a real filmmaker. And no, your loser brother who got rejected from film school (and now writes for a semi-reputable website about movies) doesn’t count. With that in mind, it is pretty cool that director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) is participating in a grande discussion about her new film Stop Loss over on the film’s official website.
The film — the most recent in a long line of Iraq war-themed films this year — tells the story of Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillipe), a soldier whose celebrated return from Iraq is cut short when the Army, short on soldiers, hands him orders for redeployment. The tactic, known as “Stop Loss”, is one employed by the Army to retain soldiers and extend their active duty time. It has recently become a large issue thanks to plunging enlistment numbers and a war that has gone on far longer than originally predicted. The film’s trailer is below.
Even though we are growing tired of overly chatty war-themed films and melodramatic soldier stories, I am cautiously drawn to this film. Kimberly Peirce delivered a fantastic film in Boys Don’t Cry and her cast selection on Stop Loss shows great potential. I also get the feeling that this film may also make a clear and resounding statement about the war — whereas films like Lions for Lambs and Rendition just seemed to dance around and let us fill in the gaps with our own politics. And I’m not saying it has to have the Michael Moore stamp of approval, but I would like to see a war film that gives us some insight and plants its feet firmly on an issue. And the issue of “stop-loss” — as you can tell if you visit the “Sound Off” section on the website — is a hot one.
I would encourage you to head over to the film’s official site here and check out what people are saying — maybe even lend your opinion via a comment or a video submission. Who knows, you may even get a response from the filmmaker herself.
Stop Loss hits theaters on March 28, 2008.