Sunday, September 08, 2013

PBS Frontline: "What to Watch This Weekend," The Wounded Platoon

FRONTLINE is excited to bring you "What to Watch This Weekend," our new, curated series of film recommendations. This week's suggestion is from Tim Mangini, FRONTLINE's Director of Broadcast — who has been with FRONTLINE since 1995, and who oversees the series' production and post-production process.


Having worked on almost 400 FRONTLINE films, it's hard to pick a favorite to highlight. After much deliberation, I chose "The Wounded Platoon" because, for me, it's an expression of journalism in its purest form. It's a classic investigative FRONTLINE, deeply researched and beautifully shot and directed by Dan Edge, a relatively new filmmaker to us at the time.

Originally broadcast in May of 2010, the film was part of our effort to chronicle the long-term effects of battle on returning soldiers in the wake of the Iraq War. Dan takes you on a personal journey with the soldiers of Third Platoon Charlie-Company after their return home. It's jarring to witness how deeply war scarred them, and the crippling challenges they face adjusting to life after combat.

I'm struck by how seamlessly the film works together as a whole. Dan Edge is a complete filmmaker — he writes, shoots and even crafts his own music. The camera work in stunning; intimate without being intrusive, it draws you into the powerful stories of these men and the demons they face.

This documentary also contains one of the most memorable lines of narration in any film I've ever seen. Listen for it at the 9:30 mark, when the narrator tells the story of Jose Barco’s heroics saving two soldiers.

I hope you find this film as remarkable as I do.

- Tim Mangini, FRONTLINE Director of Broadcast

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