February 02, 2010

The Dry Land at Sundance

The Dry LandA U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas."The Dry Land" a wrenching Iraq war storyIt's no secret that thousands of soldiers are coming back from Iraq and their lives are shattered, but no one wants to think too much about it.

Writer-director Ryan Piers Williams does, and he has been researching and reading about the subject for five years. The result is "The Dry Land," a troubling meditation on one man's fall from grace. It's rough stuff and not for everyone, but there should be an audience--most likely at home--that cares enough to seek it out.
Sundance 2010:  America Ferrera's new movie, The Dry LandThis moving, taut story of redemption and reconstruction extends beyond a post-traumatic-stress-disorder narrative. O’Nan is heartbreaking as he explores the depths of his internal struggle; Ferrera fearlessly tackles her role of a young wife in turmoil.Sundance Review:  "The Dry Land"The Dry Land is a hauntingly beautiful, quietly understated but ultimately powerful film that explores the fragmented life of a returning soldier without ever belabouring the point.Comment:  Wrenching Iraq war stories aren't my kind of movie. But The Dry Land is getting some buzz at Sundance.

The Dry Land is relevant here because Heather Rae co-produced it. Because it includes Misty Upham (billed 12th in the cast on IMDB.com). And because it reunites Rae and Upham with Melissa Leo from Frozen River.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

Below:  Misty Upham at Sundance.

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