The most telling image about Navy SEAL Michael Murphy in the new documentary "Murph: The Protector" is a snippet of video from a high school football game.
Murphy has just caught a pass near the other team's goal line. He's being tackled, but it's not obvious that he'll go down. But he has the presence of mind and the unselfishness to lateral the ball to a teammate, who then prances into the end zone.
That is very much the picture of Murphy that emerges in this documentary, which relies on the warm memories of family, friends and Navy colleagues to etch a portrait of a true American hero.
He was "the sweetest kid," "a great swimmer," always looking out for others, sticking up for the bullied, a team player in everything he ever attempted.
Filmmaker Scott Mactavish uses home movies, interviews, snippets of Navy SEAL training videos and news footage to recall a life cut short by a sense of duty. Murphy was one of those killed in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings, a SEAL mission in Afghanistan that went wrong on the ground, and was compounded by the crash of a rescue-mission helicopter, leading to the worst day in the history of this "elite of the elite" commando unit.