documentary | Year: 2007
Directed by: Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro
Rating: Unrated | Length: 1 hr. 27 min.
On September 13, 2001 — a mere two days after the 9/11 attacks — Tomas Young, a Kansan with an overwhelming sense of patriotism and loyalty to his country, felt moved to enlist in the United States Armed Forces. Equipped with the courage to fight and rid the world of the threat of terror, Young anticipated an appointment in Afghanistan that would enable him to join his fellow soldiers in rooting out and bringing to justice Al-Qaeda operatives. This did not occur, however, and President Bush’s order to invade Iraq stunned everyone, including Tomas. He soon found himself shuttled off to a land that posed no obvious threat to the United States, where he was instantly struck by a bullet from behind — and rendered both paraplegic for life and unconscious. Airlifted home, Tomas slowly regained awareness of himself and his surroundings, settling in for a long, grueling recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the nation’s capital, with the assistance and loving support of his mother. But the young man’s journey did not end there. As he lay in his hospital bed, unable to move, Tomas learned of the countless injuries and deaths afflicting hundreds of thousands in Iraq. In the process, he became one of the nation’s most ardent opponents of the Iraq invasion. With their nonfiction work Body of War, longtime television pundit Phil Donahue and documentarian Ellen Spiro join forces to relay Tomas’ heart-wrenching and yet deeply affirming story — both a testament to one man’s enduring inner strength and a towering condemnation of a localized conflict that owes much, if not everything, to the miscalculation and intrusion of the United States.