Where Soldiers Come From can easily be compared to Restrepo. Both documentaries, both about a group of boys who go off to fight in Afghanistan, both about a group of men who return home. The similarities in the respective films end there, because this is not really a combat documentary.
This film is a story about a group of young boys in their early twenties who initially joined the Army after high school, hoping not to deploy. They joined the Army National Guard, and they hoped to finish college, maybe find a decent job in their small town in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan, and settle down with their respective girlfriends. In the back of their minds was the possibility of leaving home, being separated from family and friends for months on end. Thatʻs exactly what happened during their early days in college.
I wonʻt go into too much detail, lest you plan to see the film and interpret it as you will. I will say that the film is a great look into the dramatic changes that occur when you take citizen-soldiers (active duty soldiers grow into this process at a faster clip, Iʻll admit) and drop them into a strange land where the language barrier is not one to be resolved, explosions occur on a seemingly daily basis, and the biggest stress reliever isnʻt talking with family and friends; itʻs playing Call of Duty.
I certainly recommend the film. Admittedly it really isnʻt as good as Restrepo, but that doesnʻt mean it isnʻt worth seeing, at least so the understanding that those who are unfamiliar with the military can begin to manifest itself into civiliansʻ minds. I think anyone who knows someone in the military, has a friend or family member in the military can view this film and understand that this is something much deeper than being separated for several months. The result for these men is something they can never reverse, and maybe thatʻs the most interesting part of all.
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