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Actors: Pat Tillman, Josh Brolin, Mary Tillman, Russell Baer, Patrick Tillman Sr. Director: Amir Bar-Lev Rating: Features: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC Running Time: 94 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Release Date: February 1, 2011 Theatrical Release Date: August 20, 2010 Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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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.
Pat Tillman gave up his multimillion-dollar NFL career to join the military and fight in Afghanistan, only to be killed in unclear circumstances. His death was seized upon by the Bush administration as a testimony to patriotism--so it was a jolt to Tillman's family when the official story was discredited and a harsher truth revealed. Most families, stunned by grief, would have let this go. The Tillman family didn't. The Tillman Story follows this dogged, determined, outspoken family as they fight to uncover what really happened and who was responsible for their son being twisted from a thoughtful young man to a one-dimensional political icon. The portrait of incompetence, error, and deceit that emerges will shock and disturb. Skillfully woven together from interviews and media footage, The Tillman Story draws suspense, anguish, and even bursts of dark but bracing humor from this tragedy. Pat Tillman, who never wanted his motivation for enlisting to be made public, comes through as unexpectedly complex, kind and insightful, brash and forthright, and deeply deserving of the devotion so clearly demonstrated by his family and friends. This documentary is riveting throughout, but the most crucial moment comes before a congressional hearing that exonerated Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top brass all of whom claimed ignorance of an incriminating memo, when Mary Tillman--Pat's mother--makes a brave and heartbreaking statement. The Tillman Story is worth watching for this moment alone. --Bret Fetzer