In the Valley of Elah…

April 7, 2008

I was finally able to get the movie In the Valley of Elah from the Redbox after trying for a couple of weeks. I read the description of the film but little did I know that this was based on true events. And, it wasn’t until 30 minutes into the movie that I realized that I knew what happened because I read the news story about it. I didn’t know they made a movie about it. This is the story of a US soldier who returns home from 18 months in Iraq. His father gets a call that he is AWOL just days after returning. A few days later, they find the remains of a body and determine it is the son. He has been stabbed, dismembered, and burned. The movie follows his father trying to figure out what happened to his son.

I think the thing that disheartened me the most about the film was the realism regarding Iraq and our returning soldiers. Most of the soldiers in the movie are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and it’s evident in their actions. They show video the soldier shot on his camera phone while in Iraq and it’s evident that they are suffering from PTS even while they are there. They are so detached from reality just so they can survive. And, according to the characters (many who were played by actual military vets), they didn’t know what they were fighting for.  

Since I am actively involved with Soldiers’ Angels, I wonder so much about the men I’ve sent letters to. Have they been able to adjust since they returned?

The documentary/making of included in the special features was very interesting. That is where I found out some of the actors were servicemen who had served in Iraq. It brought a very unique perspective to the film. It’s kind of long, but worth the watch. I recommend this movie! It made me think a lot differently about things.



One comment

  1. I’ve never heard of this movie before, which seems like a shame. I think I`ll definitely have to check it out now. It must be tough for soldiers to return to the US and be expected to resume life like normal, after all they have seen.

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