Murph the Protector (2013): Documentary Review

Murph the Protector
Documentary film by Mactavish Pictures, Killcliff and Anchor Bay Entertainment. All images are credited to Mactavish Pictures.

This is a documentary of the valor and the courage of a Navy SEAL hero who sacrificed his life to save his men in an Afghanistan operation in 2005 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007.


If people are going to document somebody's life, they should document ones like Lt. Michael P. Murphy's. He's a real team player, a true selfless person.

What the documentary fails to capture in videos Murph's deeds, his loved ones vividly illustrated in words.

I first thought that this documentary would involve lots of footages of Navy SEAL operations but instead I was served with words as testament of a hero's life. I wasn't bored, I was rather more interested. The way the interviews were piled was smooth and engaging. It makes you listen more to details.

What I learned in this documentary film is that the people who graduate in training to become a Navy SEAL aren't just men who have the physique but men who have the mentality and the heart to become one. More often than not, heroes are born, not made. What I mean with this is that those people who would become heroes eventually are the type of people who have the heart to become one. Lt. Michael Murphy was proof of that. It's a rare case when bad guys turn out to be good when they change for good. And I don't mean good guys in the facade of a bad guy.

I sort of feel guilty and bad in watching this documentary. Nothing bad could be said about the hero. I now reflect at my own life. If I were to die anytime sooner, nothing could be said about me if not the arrogant bad things (because I am now living a bitter and depressed life).

Goodness is innate in Murph. Whatever it is that drove him to join the Navy SEAL, I believe that it was good reason. As I learned from the film, Jack Reacher, there are four types of people who join the military:

Those who continue the family trade (of joining the military),

Patriots who are eager to serve,

those who just needed a job, and

the kind who wants a legal means of killing other people.

Murph fell in both [1] and [2]. His father (as compulsory) served his time during the Vietnam war and as most of those close to Murph could attest, he's a natural protector. He has this instinct about him to protect people, close to him or not. When he was young, he would even out situations when kids bully a weak. In sports, he would never treat his wins as his own, but the hard work of everybody in the team. He would acknowledge ones who make the good passes, the assists so he could successfully take a shot at the goal. He would step aside from his position, to give chance for a freshman with a high potential in football. Real good-natured people like Murph are hard to come by. To him, things aren't all about him but others.

Murph the Protector

I love how heroism was demonstrated here. People should give more shots at documentaries like this, of people who'd rather give than receive. This film suggests that the military who protect us are real protectors for those who join have the heart to really protect people. Just like Murph did.

Show/Hide My Personal Experience in ROTC

What I could say from most of Hollywood's war-related movies is that the military guys must be good people. To have such camaraderie in training in a short period of time would be a feat. It takes a deal of understanding, pacifying pride and the heart to give way to others. And it takes more than that to sacrifice oneself for the welfare of others. I could never imagine myself sacrifing for the lives of my batchmates (or upperclassmen) if war had befallen during that ROTC training. Give me a different set of people and maybe I would.

But as having the heart of an aspiring scientist (even though I'm a dropout :sad:), I would do what I could for the sake of an objective. When you take a course for the pursuit of knowledge, you'd put knowledge first before yourself. So yeah, I could imagine myself protecting a scientific data with my life. Such irony. Technology was built from science to improve people's lives. And yet, I'd rather protect science than actual people.

Another thing I appreciate in this film is the usage of music tracks by the end. The same traditional song sang by Beth in The Walking Dead had been played in this film which is "The Parting Glass" arranged and performed by Chris Irwin Band.

Kudos to the writer, producer and director of this documentary, Scott Mactavish for such a wonderful presentation.

A Musing: Beauty
No wonder there are lots of  romantic books with military guys as heroes. When you're a Navy SEAL, it's imperative that you're an intelligent man. Intelligence is one thing, the body another. The face is quite another for that matter. Just take a good look at these heroes of the Operation Red Wings, aren't they gorgeous?

Objectification aside, let's commemorate the heroes who have died for the good cause:

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

Murph the Protector

This is Murph's best friend from his days at the Penn State:

Murph the Protector

If I go back in time with a time machine and I run into them, it would be such a sight. They'd be such a good-looking pair of buddies.

More of his pics because he's such a good-looking man (he' probably 39 by now). He'll be another of my drawing inspiration:

Murph the Protector Murph the Protector
Murph the Protector Murph the Protector

Zi's Rating:

1 Comment

  1. Great review, and this sounds like it was a well rounded piece


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