In the Valley of Elah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Many people believe the war in Iraq is being fought for no reason other than the current U.S. president’s lust for blood, oil, and/or some sort of glorious photo-op. However, the soldiers who have answered our country’s call are often viewed with the same disdain our president receives, although their plight is not quite as bad as when Vietnam soldiers returned to protesters screaming “Baby-Killer!”

“In the Valley of Elah” does a fantastic job of calling these issues to the attention of the American public so that they are more informed.

The film begins with Tommy Lee Jones as a former military-man, finding out that his youngest son, Michael, is AWOL. After some investigation, Michael’s remains are found, much to the lament of his family. Further investigation leads a detective and Jones down multiple avenues to find Michael’s killers.

After some much-needed closure, Jones returns home with his son’s body, but stops in front of a flag-pole outside of a public building downtown in the wee hours of the morning and lowers the flag, turning it upside-down for all to see, then continues home.

Overall, the film wasn’t that bad. One problem I have is how the title is relevant to the story. The Valley of Elah is supposedly where David slew Goliath and became king of his people, or at least that’s what Jones tells a young boy. What does that mean? Maybe that the Goliath of the day, the U.S., is now losing to the awareness of the American public, or David, if you will. But in order to decide for yourself, you’ll just have to see the movie.

This movie is rated R.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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