AS we speak of Veterans, we're often inundated with photos and films of men who come back forever changed. Some make it, and some don't. It's rare that we get the opportunity to talk about women who have gone out and risked their lives.
They're not immune to PTS and unfortunately, are even less likelier to report it. Women are often expected to come back home and fill their "womanly" roll as a spouse, mother, provider, etc. They don't get the time to grieve.
That's why, when I heard about this film, I knew I had to see it.
It did not disappoint.
Kate Knowlin plays a female veteran who comes home from war a mere shell of the person she was before she left. When home feels to claustrophobic, she escapes to a camp she remembers going to as a young girl hoping to get some clarity there.
And maybe find a better off version of herself before it all went tits up.
This film does an incredibly job of allowing you to take this ride with the main character without pounding it in your head that it's about PTS and that the VA is a big pile of crap that needs to get it's head out of its ass to help Veterans.
There's a reason there are nearly 22 suicides a day.
Kate does an amazing job of bringing this character to life both physically and emotionally.
Fun Fact: She spent three months training before the film to get in incredible shape to play this character, and it shows on screen.
And even though she solidly carries this movie on those ridiculously tones shoulders, the supporting cast does not disappoint. One of those is Dot played by a wonderfully brilliant character actress named Rusty Schwimmer. She's a spunky camp director who immediately takes to the Sergeant and wants to help her as much as she can.
Art, one of the retreat chaplains is a bright spot in a very serious film. Every time Rene Auberjonois graces the screen, you can't help but smile.
The Fisherman is her... would we call him love interest? I think he's more of a mirror in a sense. The other side of recovery in a lot of ways played calmly and just enough by Tom Lipinski.
Directed by Reme Auberjonois, the film is a success because it was a human story with much bigger implications that plague our nation. Feeling alone while trying to cope is a universal problem we've all been through. You can put any struggle with this film, and still understand what she's going through.
As a Veteran, this film is an A+ as it gets down to the nuance that makes a Marine a Marine. A lot of films don't bother.
Blood Stripe is hitting the film festival circuit at the moment. The next place to catch it as the Key West Film Festival. Don't miss out!
Reviewing movies. I tried to go to once a week, but I think it's best if I post whenever. Right?