Still got your panties in a wad about the end of the Sopranos? Get over it. Maybe you can click here and let Hilary Clinton shock you out of any post-finale trauma. (Seriously, her video is hilariously dumb.) James Gandolfini certainly isn’t going to help you. He’s going back to HBO in the fall, but not to smooth the ruffled feathers of the most literal-minded Sopranos fans.
Instead, the actor’s reunion with HBO serves a more important and interesting purpose — continuing the network’s dialogue with Iraq War vets. Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq was produced by Gandolfini and is built around interviews the actor conducted with ten G.I.s who had close brushes with death while overseas. Primary topics: "their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and
their devotion to America."
The title seems awkward, but an ‘alive day’ is the day a soldier escaped death, and the doc appears to focus on both the physical and emotional toll of the war — the interview subjects have suffered amputation, mental trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Word is that HBO’s other Iraq docs have been valuable (I don’t have the network, so I haven’t seen them) and I’m curious to see what direction this will take, and how many sides of the Iraq story it will present. The feature, the first from Gandolfini’s production company Attaboy Films, debuts September 9.