Corporal’s Diary, The

Corporal's Diary, The

$24.99 — $425.00

$19.99 — $425.00

Winner! Most Powerful Documentary
– Seattle True Independent Film Festival, 2008

“With neither political slant nor ulterior motive, the film communicates the personal cost of war. . . ”
– Bill White, Seattle P.I.

“. . . [has] a sense of profound hopefulness.”
– Tom Keogh, Seattle Times

Special Edition DVD includes Jonathan’s complete diary entries from Iraq in a limited edition 20-page booklet.

The true story of two soldiers, one who never returned and one who returned forever changed.

Twenty-two year old Corporal Jonathan Santos had documented his 37 days of military service in Iraq in a personal diary before a roadside bomb took his life and the lives of several of his friends and servicemen on October 15, 2004. Jonathan’s mother, Doris, wasn’t aware that her son had kept a diary until his Tuff Box™ – a soldier’s chest filled with their most valuable items – was sent to her after his death. Upon opening the box, she discovered his “little green book” and a stack of videocassettes on which he had recorded daily life in Iraq.

When Doris is finally able to bring herself to watch the tapes, she finds images of Jonathan’s arrival in Iraq, pictures from a cousin’s wedding he was able to attend while on leave, and scenes of Jonathan laughing and joking with his Army buddies including Private Matthew Drake, one of Jonathan’s best friends, who was the sole survivor of the attack in which Jonathan was killed. The record of Jonathan’s final few weeks, in which he expresses fears and doubts never voiced to his family in person, is at once inspiring, personal and profound.

Both an affecting story of courage and a universal tribute to soldiers everywhere, The Corporal’s Diary follows Doris’ journey as she moves beyond her pain to meet with the families of others who have lost loved ones in the war. Together they share stories, offer comfort and pay tribute to the lives of the brave young servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq.

DVD Extras:

  • Limited edition 20 page booklet which includes Jonathans complete diary entries from Iraq.
  • Feature Audio Commentary
  • The Corporal’s Boots – The story of one soldier’s boots in the national exhibit, “Eyes Wide Open.”
  • Interview: Doris and Lisa – Followup interview with the mothers of Jonathan and Matthew.
  • Corporal Santos’ Last Letter Home – Jonathan’s last letter home, read by his mother.
  • Update on Matthew’s condition
  • Classroom Guide / Teaching Materials


Rental Information
This film is available from AFD on video for public screenings and television broadcast. For information regarding rental rates and formats, please for institutional/non-theatrical screenings, or for theatrical, festival, television, or other bookings.

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This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.

Patricia Boiko & Laurel Spellman-Smith
92 minutes
English with optional Spanish subtitles.