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Father Soldier Son

Brian Eisch is a single parent who is deployed to Afghanistan. His sons, approximately 10 and 12 at the beginning of the film, love and admire him as a hero who is serving their country. The film explores what happens to the family over the next 10 years after Brian is permanently disabled as a result of a war injury. I liked the film mostly for the way it shows how the “tough man” aspect of masculinity is transmitted through the family culture. The film could have explored more deeply the impact that the father’s injury had on the sons as they were coming of age. There is an underlying sadness throughout the film that provides stunning commentary on how families – in this case, fathers and sons – navigate various crises of manhood and identity in the military context. Thumbs up for a film that doesn’t explore its topic as deeply as it could (and should) have, but it still provides an engaging and provocative viewing experience. It seems a bit of a cross between Boyhood and Coming Home. (2020; 3.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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