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Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Brothers At War" -- A "must see" documentary


It will surprise you. I agree with Laughing Wolf that it left me wanting more, but in a good way.

I commented to my friend Maggie that there was a simple frankness to it that showed both the harsh realities and the sweetness of life. Truly. It's a special film.

It seemed to strike a cord with those in the audience with me, too. I'd spoken to a vet (late 20's maybe?) before it started, and he was just hoping it portrayed vets better than "Stop-Loss", which set the bar pretty low! He also mentioned that he might need to prep for deployment this spring (he's no longer active duty), and while his girlfriend clearly wasn't excited about that, he seemed accepting. On the other hand, he talked about his new civilian career with a lot of enthusiasm.

The film ends with footage of the younger brother boarding a plane for another deployment. As much as there is reluctance to leave, you can also see the sense of purpose and, yes, enthusiasm for the opportunity to do the job he's trained to do. The scene also reinforces the sense of closeness felt by those who serve together and for which there is no substitute.

As the credits began to roll, I noticed that the vet I'd spoken to got up and left the theater well ahead of everyone else. His girlfriend leaned down to say goodbye and to comment, "That was really good". I'll go out on a limb and say that I think that ending, showing the unit going off on another deployment, struck that vet hard. There's the pull of the mission and the opportunity to re-connect with fellow warriors, but then there's the pull of the new life he's created as a civilian. He likely has a choice ahead of him, one that most of us will never make or understand. It's a choice that our warriors make each time they decide whether to remain on active duty or in the reserves or to get out.

For everyone who has ever volunteered to serve, let alone volunteered to do it again and again and again, thank you. But I do want you to know, while we'll never walk a mile in your shoes, we civilians know that we're missing out on something. We don't envy you the hardships, but most of us envy that bond, and I can't help but think that that is simply your due.

Everyone: go see the film.


itzawrap said...

Glad to see that people are 'getting' this film and encouraging others to see it. As one of the two Directors of Photography for Brothers At War I can testify that what you see on screen is what we shot, although radically cut down. I mean the character, intelligence, courage and commitment of our service men and women is beyond what expected to see out in the field.

We recorded over 400 hours of footage for our editor to cut down to an hour and fifty minutes of tight storytelling. It's likely the DVD when it comes out will have special features with additional footage not in the theatrical release.

But don't wait to see it. The way to get the full impact is to see it on a BIG screen with big sound.

Marc Miller - DP

itzawrap said...


* Columbus, GA (near Fort Benning), Carmike 15 - http://www.carmike.com/
* Fayetteville, NC (near Fort Bragg), Carmike 12 - http://www.carmike.com/
* Jacksonville, NC (near Camp LeJeune), Carmike 16 - http://www.carmike.com/
* Chicago, IL AMC River East, - AMC - http://www.amctheatres.com/
* Warrenville, IL - AMC Canterra 30 - http://www.amctheatres.com/
* Washington DC Landmark E Street Cinema - Landmark Theatres - http://landmarktheatres.com/
* Arlington, VA AMC Shirlington - AMC - http://www.amctheatres.com/

* Akron (Ohio National Guard), Regal Interstate Park 18 - Regal Cinemas - http://regalcinemas.com/

* Augusta, GA (near Fort Gordon, US Army)
* Savannah, GA (near Fort Stewart, US Army), Coming Soon
* Shreveport, LA (near Barksdale AFB, US Air Force) Cinemark Tinseltown 17 - http://www.cinemark.com/
* Clarksville, TN (near Fort Campbell, US Army) Carmike Governor's Square 10 - Carmike - http://www.carmike.com/
* Hampton, VA (near Langley AFB, US Air Force), AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 - AMC - http://www.amctheatres.com/
* Newport News, VA (near Fort Eustis, US Army), AMC Kiln Creek 20 - AMC - http://www.amctheatres.com/
* Norfolk, VA (near Norfolk Naval Station, US Navy), Coming Soon
* Killeen, TX (near Fort Hood), Hollywood Stadium 14 - Hollywood Theaters - http://gohollywood.com/
* San Antonio, TX - Bijou at the Crossroads - Santikos - http://www.santikos.com/
* Cleveland Heights (Ohio National Guard), Cedar Lee Cinema
* Dayton (near Wright-Patterson AFB, US Air Force), Regal Hollywood 20-Fairfield Commons - Regal Cinemas - http://regalcinemas.com/
* Decatur, IL Carmike Hickory Pointe 12 - Carmike - http://www.carmike.com/
* Tacoma, WA (near Fort Lewis), Coming Soon
* Oceanside, CA (near Camp Pendleton) Regal Oceanside 16 - http://regalcinemas.com/
* Monterey, CA (near Presidio of Monterrey, DOD), Osio Cinema

Lisa in DC said...

I only wish the film was showing in more places - though I guess the distribution is pretty good for a documentary?

I do hope folks go see the film - it's a unique opportunity to "get to know" the people who serve in our military. Thanks for your part in bringing it to the big screen - the visuals are striking.

itzawrap said...


We wish the film was more widely released too, but due to Hollywood skepticism, it's only in 'select' cities and theaters for now.

BUT, and that's a big but....if tons of folks get out to see it, this weekend, next weekend....tell everyone to go see it in the 'select' markets, making the box office numbers great - Then the distributor will say "Geez, this film is popular, let's expand into more cities and more theaters." And that's what will happen. It will expand and be held over another week in the theaters already playing it.

So, listen up everyone...go see Brothers At War, take your friends, tell your friends how great it is, A must see movie, go to the website to view the trailer (preview), or go to my page to see other video clips: http://tinyurl.com/cqukzs

(please try to post next week's schedule in your main body so people are reminded about all the markets it's in)

Lisa, thank you for your blog and for spreading the word. This is a grass roots campaign that everyone can participate in. Thank you ALL! xoxox