The Tillman Story

Rated 4.0

As director Amir Bar-Lev’s unnerving and absorbing documentary makes clear, we still have much more to say about the handsome NFL star who became an Army Ranger and a Chomsky-reading, war-opposing, self-sacrificing patriot. With open access to his family, and guarded access to his unit, Bar-Lev boldly wades into the morass of dishonorably manifested military embarrassment about Tillman’s death from friendly fire in Afghanistan. As in his earlier doc My Kid Could Paint That, the director focuses on the train-wreck collision of self-expression, propaganda and marauding media hype by which highly personal stories become national ones. The result does not purport to be the last word on its multifaceted subject, but seems in any case like a vital historic testimony.