Where Soldiers Come from

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Following three friends in the National Guard who're deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, Heather Courtney's documentary adheres to a tidy three-act structure. There's the buildup to shipping out (that joyous Americana set to lyrical post-rock means someone's been watching Friday Night Lights ad infinitum); the battle-zone tenure, complete with IED injuries and herky-jerky tank-cam footage; and the return home. It's only during the last third that the film finds its footing, as the PTSD fallout and collective sense of disillusionment suggest a bigger picture regarding why we fight, etc. Otherwise, this decent, if decidedly personal, look at small-town soldiers works better as an erratic scrapbook than a representative statement.

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By: David Fear

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