(on the roof)
Roof and Courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
|8:30PM||Live Music by Zeb Gould|
|10:30PM||Q&A with filmmaker Heather Courtney and U.S. veterans of the war in Afghanistan|
|11:00PM||Reception in Courtyard|
Where Soldiers Come From (Heather Courtney | Austin, TX | 90 min.)
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, Rooftop Films brings you a profoundly patriotic and personal portrait of how the war in Afghanistan has affected and continues to affect our youth, our families, and our communities.
Where Soldiers Come From is not an anti-war movie, although it exposes the horrors of warfare more effectively than more heavy handed anti-war works have been able to do. It does this by eschewing rhetoric and political agenda in favor of an affectionate but penetrating documentary style.
Through the unblinking eyes of Courtney’s camera, we follow a group of childhood best friends in rural Northern Michigan from their teenage decision to enlist, to the tension and turmoil of Afghanistani battlefields, and back to the less dramatic but more harrowing return to civilian life as twenty-three year old battle worn veterans.
The friends, once boys who greeted the prospect of battle with an adolescent’s awe-filled anticipation, are transformed into world-weary men. Men who must now face the consequences thrust upon them by their service: post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, promised veterans’ benefits held out of reach by bureaucratic red tape. Watching their innocence be stripped away in layers, like paint from a wall, is heartbreaking. Watching the pain of their parents, sisters, and girlfriends, first at the absence of the young soldiers and then at the struggles of their return, is equally tragic.
More importantly however, Courtney’s steady directorial gaze makes it impossible for an audience to turn away from the burden shouldered by our men and women in uniform. It takes the debate over the war in Afghanistan out of the realm of vague and lofty discourse and back to the realm of human beings. In doing this, it paints the most universally relevant picture of this war so far.
- Lela Scott MacNeil