New to VOD this week:
NOT A WAR STORY
Academy of United States Veterans event, June 2017
Rhode Island, Portland
A crew of veterans makes a zombie comedy film.
O’Donnell’s film goes behind the scenes to detail the making of RANGE 15, a project written, produced, directed, and largely starring veterans. Tired of stereotypical portrayals of wounded warriors, a group of vets set out to make a film they believed the military and veteran community would embrace. Their major problem: they’re amateur filmmakers, and have no luck in securing financing from traditional sources. Tackling the film like a military mission, they find workarounds, primarily by seeking help from within their own community. While the doc doesn’t quite find a balance between showing behind-the-scenes footage and showcasing the individual participants’ personalities, opting to instead largely serve as a promotional vehicle for the silly, over-the-top RANGE 15, it does succeed in offering a counternarrative to typical portrayals of veterans, and, notably, highlights both a refreshing embrace of dark humor and the camaraderie that helps military personnel survive in the field and back in civilian life.