And Then They Came Home
I envision this film as
an examination of a specific case and kind of trauma. I want the audience to
examine one day of battle, and follow its subsequent effects through the lives
of twelve different people, who now share its trauma, and share in the
challenge of “coming home”.
Frequently, it seems, films similar to And Then They Came Home either trace one person with one story and one point of view, or quilt together several points of view about war “in general” or military life “in general”; in other words, these diverse points of view usually involve different battles, different deployments, or different wars altogether.
I have written before that this film is not about PTSD; I have been asked to clarify. I want the focus of this film, at least at this point in the process, to be what I have written above. First and foremost, I do not want to stigmatize any veteran who is uncomfortable with being put in the PTSD category. There are plenty of veterans who have experienced combat and have afterward successfully adjusted to civilian life.
I also do not want any of the interviewees to feel compelled to answer questions or act against their wishes. I do not want them to feel pushed into a category that they do not belong in. I went through that day of battle, and found myself very affected by it. From that perspective, I asked myself: what about the other guys?--did they go through what I went through? And, most importantly: Are they alright?
I do not know how these veterans are really doing, and I think that it is critically important that I not assume. I do not know who was affected by what, nor how they have dealt with it. From a questionnaire, I have vaguely gathered that some of us have our lives in order, and some do not. I have a suspicion that those whose lives are now unsettled would cite this day of combat as being significantly responsible. I will not know, however, until the camera stops.
I have also been asked to clarify how I intend for this film to help people? My best case scenario is that a returning warrior comfortable with watching something like this may view the twelve tales of adjustment post trauma and find that he/she relates to one or several of these twelve veterans. I would hope at that point the returning warrior can feel comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone and be able to assess their present situation whatever it might be, with a little more clarity.
I also hope that
civilians, those with no experience of combat, will watch this film and see
veterans in a richer, more sympathetic light. And in this richer light, I hope
civilians will better know how to support these warriors--these men and women
who have volunteered to give so much.
Finally, I hope that those veterans who participate in the creation of this film will feel abiding pride in leading from the front and sharing our story. Service is a great gift. From having known these men at their best and in their prime, it will be my honor to chronicle their lives--lives of triumph, of courage, of heart.
-- Garrett Anderson
(OSMEAC)- Military acronym for a warning order.
Orientation - Portland Oregon
Situation - On November 22, 2004 third platoon was ambushed during house clearing operations in Fallujah Iraq. At the end of the day Corporal Michael Cohen was dead and six Marines were seriously wounded.
Mission - With the help of twelve Marines who were present that day we will reconstruct the true story of November 22, 2004. Next we will follow these men through a day in their present life as they reflect on their post combat transition.
Execution - Garrett Anderson, Antonio de la Torre and two grips will travel to ten states during the Spring of 2012 to interview the above mentioned veterans.
Adminstration and Logistics - One van, much gas, one four man team, two sets of plane tickets, production gear, food and lodging.
Command and Signal - Mission will commence after donation phase is complete.
What makes this project unique?
Most military documentaries are directed by people outside of the military which can complicate the connection between the director and their subject. This film will be directed by someone who is close to his subjects and knows this story inside and out with a clear vision.
Why is this documentary relevant to today’s society?
The battle of Fallujah was a strange time for America. The military expectations of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 had faded away as a new war had commenced. A war that transitioned from conventional fighting to urbanized room to room combat in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province of 2004. While most Americans carried on with their normal lives, a minority fought for each other thousands of miles from their homes, hoping to return to their own lives. With the end of the war in Iraq it is important for the veterans who fought there to preserve the history of their journeys while they are still fresh. This will be documented forever and can help educate future veterans and civilians about the true costs of war. As time passes after the end of the war these veterans will transition back into a society who does not have a solid reputation with understanding the veteran’s stories or needs and it is my hope that with education such things can change.
Do you encourage exceeding your minimum goal?
Yes. Thirty thousand dollars is absolutely the cheapest denomination that documenting And Then They Came Home will require. Movies are expensive to produce! More funding will equate to a better production which means better quality.
The And Then They Came Home crew takes pleasure in working hard to tell this story and thanks you for your support. Without you we cannot be and without this story you will not know. When we work together; we can accomplish good together.
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