The story of Pat Tillman, who gave up a lucrative pro football career in order to enlist after 9/11, had all the makings of a legend. When he was killed in Afghanistan, the media and the military made him into a hero who gave his life to save his fellow soldiers. The problem was that the truth was not so simple, nor so glorious. His family started hearing a different story than that told by official sources and started its own investigation despite obstacles thrown at them by the military, and a media that preferred the myth to the facts. Amir Bar-Lev found the story irresistible for what it says about our culture. When I spoke to him on July 26, 2010, he was protective of the Tillmans, angry about what they have been put through, and astonished about what he discovered while making his documentary.
The moving and disturbing documentary tells the story of Pat Tillman’s family and its determined fight to discover the truth about how Pat died under fire in Afghanistan, a death that the military tried to spin for propaganda purposes. Tillman was a charismatic pro football player who walked away from a multi-million dollar contract to enlist with his brother, Kevin, after 9/11. The conflicting reports about he died reveals the military attempting to cover up its own deficiencies and a media all too willing to go along with the official story that gives them a hero with which to lead the evening news.
Bar-Lev’s previous work includes producing the extraordinary TROUBLE THE WATER about a New Orleans couple facing Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and directing the piquant MY KID COULD PAINT THAT about a four-year-old who took the art world by storm.
Bar-Lev has taught documentary at NYU, produced and executive produced projects for the Sundance Channel, VH1, MTV, Spike, and The Weather Channel.-