From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan
to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, WHERE SOLDIERS
COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends,
forever changed by a faraway war.
A documentary about growing up, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM,
is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and
the families and town they come from. Returning to her
hometown, Director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access
following these young men as they grow and change from teenagers
stuck in their town, to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles
of returning home.
“One of the
TOP TEN FILMS of SXSW.
A rich document from an enclosed world of youth.”
– Mark Asch, Film Comment
-- Aaron Hillis, LA Weekly
“A FILM THAT
EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD SEE.
Constructed with a MASTERFUL combination of TENDER intimacy
and HARD-HITTING insight. 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. In
doing this, it paints the most UNIVERSALLY RELEVANT picture
of this war so far.”
-- Lela Scott MacNeil, Rooftop Films
Enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and college tuition support,
best friends Dominic and Cole join the National Guard after
graduating from their rural high school. After persuading
several of their friends to join them, the young men are sent
to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for roadside
bombs. Courtney goes with them. By the time their deployment
ends, they are no longer the carefree group of friends
they were before enlisting; repeated bombs blowing up around
their convoys have led to the new silent signature wound of
the Afghan war, Traumatic Brain Injury, and they have all
become increasingly disillusioned about their mission.
The challenges really begin to surface when they return
to their families and communities in Michigan and try to fit
back into their daily routines. WHERE SOLDIERS COME
FROM looks beyond the guns and policies of an ongoing
war to examine the war’s effect on parents, loved ones
and the whole community when young people go off to fight.