Kimberly Pierce Talks STOP LOSS – Jennifer Merin interviews

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Kimberly Peirce’s film, Stop Loss (2008), delves into an egregious and little known policy currently affecting military personnel and their families. Soldiers who’ve completed tours of duty in Iraq are being sent back to the war zone for second and third tours, even if they don’t want to go. The practice, known as stop loss or the ‘back door draft’ prevents servicemen and women from retiring once their required term of service is complete and it is based upon a small print contract clause that’s been invoked by the current administration as a way to keep deployed troop numbers high when enlistment in the volunteer army is decreasing.

At the end of the film, Peirce presents the stats. They‘re shocking, and the numbers keep going up.
Pierce says she learned about stop loss from her younger brother who’d joined the military following the 9-11 terrorist attacks and had served in Iraq. “We became a military family,“ says Peirce, “and I became personally aware of what soldiers were going through. My brother wasn‘t stop loss-ed because of some medical conditions, but his buddies were. I heard their stories and knew I wanted to make a film about them. Continue reading on CINEMA CITIZEN.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).