Since Sarah and I signed up with Netflix several months ago, we’ve certainly seen our fair share of movies. Rather than rate the 26 movies and five television series discs that we’ve seen, I want to write about one in particular.

Regardless of your opinion on the Iraq war, I strongly encourage you to see the documentary Gunner Palace. It is an incredibly interesting, gripping film about the daily life of average, ordinary soldiers in Baghdad. What makes Gunner Palace such an interesting movie is that it does not try to act as a vehicle for a particular political agenda. Rather, it simply wants to show what life is like for the soldiers on the ground in Iraq. Whether or not you truly believe that the US Army is fighting terrorism in Iraq; regardless of whether you believe that our soldiers should be in Iraq; you should see this movie.

The 2 Battalion of the 3rd Field Artillery of the 1st Armored Division spends their days and nights holed up in one of Uday Hussein’s palaces when they aren’t out patrolling, raiding, and gathering intelligence. They have a pool party. There is a command center in the palace. They have checkpoints. They visit orphanages. They eat food heated up in a microwave. They play video games and electric guitar. They send e-mails back home. They are constantly alert for IEDs. Their Humvees run out of gas on the freeway. In short, they do all the dirty work that we don’t see on television.

This film was a really intimate portrait of the 19-30 year olds who are the face of America in Iraq.