The Tillman Story
• Winner, News and Documentary Emmy® Awards 2012
• Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form
Pat Tillman gave up his professional football career to join the Army Rangers in 2002 and became an instant symbol of patriotic fervor and unflinching duty. But the truth about Pat Tillman is far more complex, and ultimately far more heroic, than the caricature created by the media. And when the government tried to turn his death into war propaganda, they took on the wrong family. From her home in the Santa Cruz mountains, Pat’s mother, Dannie Tillman, led the family’s crusade to reveal the truth beneath the mythology of their son’s life and death.
Featuring candid and revelatory interviews with Pat’s fellow soldiers as well as his family, Amir Bar-Lev’s emotional and insightful film not only shines a light on the shady aftermath of Pat’s death and calls to task the entire chain of command, but also examines themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself.
About the Filmmaker
The Tillman Story is Amir Bar-Lev’s third feature film. His directorial debut, Fighter, was released theatrically in the fall of 2001, aired on IFC, and was named one of the top documentaries of the year by Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice and other major publications. It won six international awards. Bar-Lev’s second film, My Kid Could Paint That, was released internationally by Sony Pictures Classics in 2007, with broadcast on Starz, A&E and BBC.
Bar-Lev served as co-producer on the film, Trouble The Water, which was a 2009 Academy Award Nominee; the doc also took the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at Full Frame, among other awards.
In addition to his feature filmmaking, Bar-Lev has taught documentary at NYU, produced and executive produced shows for the Sundance Channel, VH1, MTV, Spike!, and The Weather Channel, as well as directed numerous award-winning short films. He and his wife welcomed their first daughter into the world during the final weeks of editing The Tillman Story.