Noted director Kimberly Peirce, AB ’90, was at DOC Films last night as part of a 22-city tour to promote her latest film Stop Loss. Debbie Nelson, Director, Center for Gender Studies introduced Peirce, who in turn introduced the film to an audience of some 200 students, community members, and a small contingent of Iraq War veterans. Based on years of interviews and over a hundred hours of research footage, Peirce originally set out to do a documentary. She even made arrangements for soldiers to be given cameras for personal use which she’s incorporated into the interactive movie website http://www.StopLossMovie.com. Peirce also drew on the personal experience of having a younger brother enlist in the military and deployed to Iraq.
The award-winning filmmaker (Boys Don’t Cry) has been celebrated for her intimate portrayal of American families, and in Stop Loss, she sets out to explore a small town Texas community rich with military history. During the question and answer session following the screening, Peirce noted one of the things that continues to intrigue her are the bonds developed in the military and the cultural void that is fueling many young men to find community in soldiering.
Stop-Loss was produced by MTV Films, and features Ryan Phillippe as a decorated Iraq war hero who is ordered back to duty in Iraq using the “stop-loss” procedure – a loophole in soldiers’ military contracts which prohibits servicemen and women from retiring once their required term of service is complete. It will be released in theaters in late March.