Writer/director Rodney Roldan’s Country and Courage takes us on a poetic journey beginning with the first Veterans Day holiday (formerly known as Armistice Day) and shines a light on what it means to be a veteran today from the perspective of veterans.
On November 11, 1918, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, signaling the end of World War I. The following year, both the United States, France, and other countries memorialized the date as a national holiday from then on. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day to broaden the umbrella and include all veterans who served in tours and wars since the birth of our nation.
“…helping fellow veterans cope with their PTSD, Roldan uses Shakespeare as a form of therapy.”
In the documentary, Rodney Roldan interviews veterans to reflect on their experiences as veterans both on the field and at home. His subjects, dating back to the Vietnam War, tell stories about why they enlisted, the military’s humanitarian efforts, the mixed and often hostile reception received on their return, and the state of veteran services today. We could be doing more for our veterans, and Country and Courage help us connect with their everyday struggles.
One of the most amazing stores in Country and Courage involves the filmmaker himself. In helping fellow veterans cope with their PTSD, Roldan uses Shakespeare as a form of therapy. He points out that many of the works of Shakespeare, particularly Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, speaks directly to the heart of the soldier. His actors are asked to verbalize their battlefield experiences and feelings and then find a similar passage from Shakespeare matching their experience. The therapy comes in performing the piece along with the support they get from their fellow veteran actors.
Country and Courage is a positive short film acting as a service to those who served. By no means is this a military recruitment video. Instead, it’s a collection of personal stories reminding us of the very specific struggle the veteran we come into contact with goes through. By connecting these histories with passages from Shakespeare, written over 400 years ago, he shows that the effect of war is common to every generation around the world.
For more information about Country and Courage, visit https://www.facebook.com/countryandcouragefilm
"…a positive short film acting as a service to those who served."