'Boys Don't Cry' director goes to war

Kimberly Pierce
Kimberly Pierce says she was terrified when her brother signed up to serve in Iraq, but by keeping in daily contact with him through instant messaging she was able to get a sense of what life was like in the combat zone.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

This weekend a new film called "Stop-Loss" opens around the country. Stop-Loss is a military rule which can be used to order soldiers back into active service.

The movie is about a Texas veteran who is expecting to get out of the military after his second tour in Iraq. Then he's told he's going back to Iraq.

"Stop-Loss" is written and directed by Kimberly Pierce, who hit big with her Oscar-winning debut feature "Boys Don't Cry." That was in the year 2000.

Life-long friends Brandon (Ryan Phillippe) and Steve (Channing Tatum)find themselves on opposite sides of the issue when Brandon discovers he's being 'stop-lossed' back to Iraq in 'Stop-Loss.'
Image courtesy Paramount Pictures

Pierce was in New York on 9/11. She witnessed the Twin Towers come down.

She began researching a documentary about the way America had changed, traveling around the country interviewing soldiers and their families.

Then another shock hit Pierce. Her younger brother announced he was enlisting to go to Iraq. Pierce said her family is patriotic and believes in defending the country. She said the idea of her brother going to Iraq was still terrifying.

Kimberly Pierce told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr that "Stop-Loss" grew out of her interviews with soldiers, and what she learned directly from her brother.

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