Corporal's Diary, TheThe Coporal’s Diary is the painfully emotional story of Corporal Jonathan Santos and his brief stint in Iraq. Corporal Santos, along with several other servicemen, was killed by a roadside bomb on October 15th, 2004 in Iraq. When his mother, Doris, receives his belongings, she finds a diary and numerous videocassettes recording his daily life in Iraq. The Corporal’s Diary is a combination of interviews with Doris, interviews with Jonathan’s siblings and friends, readings from his diary, and additional stories, including the story of Private Matthew Drake, the sole survivor of the roadside bombing. In short, this is a very intense documentary, and though it is only an hour long, it will stick in your mind for long after you watch it.

Surprisingly, The Corporal’s Diary is not a partisan documentary, or an attempt to paint the Iraq war in a negative light (or a positive light, for that matter). In fact, it’s not an attempt to convince the viewer of anything, aside from the universal message of courage and the connections of family. By choosing not to pick a side or attempt to convey a controversial message, The Corporal’s Diary transcends most wartime documentaries and paints a moving picture of real people suffering real losses. At times the pain is hard to watch and the emotional investment required is draining, but it is these qualities that make the documentary important and moving.

The special edition DVD includes a glossy copy of Santos’ complete diary, reproduced to go along with the movie and highlight the reality of the film. Though the film lacks production value I challenge anyone to watch this entire documentary without being completely moved by the subject matter.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Anyone looking to connect with a universal theme of love and loss
Stay Away if: You’re looking for an opinion-heavy puff piece

To purchase The Corporal’s Diary, visit Amazon
For more information, visit Typecast Films

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