Most of the audience at a recent screening I attended of the movie Body of War saw it as a terrible indictment of the Iraq war. I did, too, but as a sexuality educator, I also found myself riveted by several scenes that focused on the body portion of the film.
The film is about Tomas Young, a 25-year-old from Missouri who enlisted in the Army after watching President Bush swear vengeance through a bullhorn at ground zero after 9/11.
Young is permanently confined to a wheelchair after having caught a bullet the first week he was in Iraq. The bullet hit him just beneath his left collarbone, causing severe and permanent spinal cord injuries. He was instantly paralyzed from the chest down.
In the first part of the film, Tomas is getting married to Brie and all seems to be going well. But then the film focuses on the unexpected: a very detailed description of the effects of Tomas’s injury on his penis, and how it damages his ability to have erections and sex with the woman he has just married.