Fighting for Life
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Filmmaker Terry Sanders is offered unprecedented access to combat support hospitals in Iraq, medevac flights, and military hospitals both in Germany and the United States for this documentary portrait of the American military medicine system. In addition to interweaving stories about American military medical workers forced to work against the chaotic backdrop of the Iraq War, the wounded soldiers whose lives have been forever changed in combat, and the USU medical students who strive to become career military physicians, the film also traces the remarkable journey of 21-year-old Army… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fighting for Life puts courageous faces on men and women who might otherwise be anonymous statistics at a time when injured soldiers are rarely seen on TV."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Fighting for Life is essential viewing at a time when, five years on, the war's human cost is still too often mired in partisan rhetoric and administration spin."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"If you're wondering where the heroes went, take a look at this group, and see if you're not impressed."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"Sanders provides a rare glimpse into the world of the doctors and nurses tasked with saving lives in difficult circumstances. You cannot leave Fighting for Life without a deep sense of respect for the medical personnel and the patients."
‑ Beth Accomando, KPBS.org
"Sanders and his crew are expert at building scenes from whatever shots they could grab, under extremely demanding circumstances."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"Though in surer hands, the class's simulated mass-casualty situation, replete with ghoulish prosthetic wounds, might've been a masterpiece."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Shot in battlefield hospitals in Iraq and rehab centers in the United States, Fighting for Life takes an unflinching look at the physical sacrifices of soldiers and marines."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
"Specialist Crystal Davis' story reflects many stories, her life changed forever, her efforts to meet all kinds of unanticipated challenges."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"The graphic imagery drives home the toll that war takes without the need for sermonizing."
‑ Geoff Berkshire, Metromix.com
"Though it superficially deals with how military doctors work during a long and unpopular war, Terry Sanders's film more closely disentangles a specialized establishment in its own right."
‑ Paul Schrodt, Slant Magazine
"will prove deeply moving to audience members of any political persuasion."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"The result isn't pro-war, just pro cleaning up the mess, one amputee at a time."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, Time Out New York
"The no-frills yet deeply gripping manner this film uses to document this brave soldier's struggle for survival, then in rehab, should draw a salute from military personnel and civilians as well."
‑ Larry Ratliff, San Antonio Express-News
"Though Maryland's Uniformed Services University has been dubbed "Useless U" and has come close to being shuttered, Terry Sanders' simply shot digital film is an inelegant but potent argument for its existence."
‑ Tricia Olszewski, Let's Not Listen
"A salute to the courageous and caring work done by military doctors and nurses in Iraq, Germany, and the United States."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Fighting for Life on Rotten Tomatoes