Greetings again from the darkness. Alex Sutton has done 3 tours through Iraq and is now considered completely disabled due to PTSD. It is the subject of this film by directors Alix Blair and Jeremy Lange, and we have an insight into his life in a few years. Alex tries to heal by working on a farm where he lives with his protective fiancé. It’s not a glamorous and productive life, but it does present the challenges that so many veterans face.

 

Throughout the film, we have a pretty good idea of the convoluted perspective Alex lives with, in part because of an amazing number of prescribed medications he takes daily. Mixing this medicine regimen with his fascination and comfort with the arsenal of weapons he maintains delivers scenes like the one in which he compares the hatching of a baby chick to the execute he did during the war – both offer divine powers.

The film takes us through her daily life on the farm (chickens, goats, a donkey, a horse and a peacock), then to her wedding day and the birth of the children. Alex is a friendly guy, but who can never really focus on long periods of time or develop a plan for organizing farm activities. In fact, he seems happiest when he strike shots with one of his weapons even for no apparent reason.

Our views change quickly when reading Alex’s medical records. Where we had previously adopted his narrative of medical evacuation after injuries that “tore” him, we quickly realize that PTSD has a deeper impact than the daily struggles on the farm. The credits describe the 400,000 PTSD matter resulting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and recall the need to better manage this psychological challenge that so many people face. A world of isolation is not a solution. The filmmakers offer an devoted look at this growing issue, and this is a reminder that the VA is poorly equipped in its current state. Congratulations for the excellent use of music throughout … especially the song “Jubilee” on the credits.