From the March 23 The New York Times on Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss.

After almost a decade in the Hollywood wilderness trying to find a project that would equal her first film, Ms. Peirce earned just a single directorial credit, for an episode of the television series “The L Word.” Now 40, she has a new film called “Stop-Loss,” opening Friday, about American soldiers who have served in Iraq. Since November she’s been promoting the movie on an extended road trip to colleges and theaters, hoping to generate buzz for a subject that has yet to seduce audiences, as producers of “In the Valley of Elah” and “Redacted,” among others, can attest.

“Stop-Loss” stars Ryan Phillippe as Sgt. Brandon King, a golden boy from small-town Texas who returns home after two tours of duty in Iraq, ready to begin civilian life. But after a hero’s welcome and a Main Street parade, he receives orders to go back.

He is a victim of a stop-loss, the controversial practice that allows the military to retain soldiers who have already fulfilled their terms of service. Sometimes referred to as a back-door draft, stop-loss is a result of a loophole in the contract soldiers sign upon enlisting that permits “involuntary extensions” in the event of a threat to national security.

Ms. Peirce learned about the little-reported practice from her half brother Brett, who joined the Army at 18, immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks. Speaking of her brother with palpable pride (and straightening her back when saying his name), Ms. Peirce recalled that during his tour in Iraq she would often wake in the night to beeping instant messages from him. When she would ask what he was doing, he’d type back: “You know, the usual: kidnapping, razing houses, stuff like that.” Ms. Peirce never knew how literally to take those missives.

Full story . . .

(Image above courtesy of The New York Times)

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