More even-handed than you might expect, this SIFF 2007 documentary about conscientious objectors in the U.S. military doesn't just preach to the choir, it reaches five or six pews beyond. Unfortunately, it's still not a very good movie. Focusing on a repetitive series of soldiers who decline to bear arms in Iraq, the filmmakers gloss over some important issues. Is there any moral context that makes it OK to kill in wartime? Like the Holocaust, maybe? Or if those WMDs had actually existed? And what makes Iraq different from past wars, when conscientious objectors served with honor? These questions linger on the periphery. Soldiers has the virtue of including voices from across the ideological spectrum, yet its unnecessarily long shots of brutal violence, its championing of lefty dissent, and its overdramatic CNN-style score make clear where its sympathies lie.
Aidan Delgado expresses his doubts on the front line.
Runs Fri., Nov. 2–Thurs., Nov. 8, at SIFF Cinema. Not rated. 86 minutes.