Reviews - WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM - A Film by Heather Courtney

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Reviews

  • “Quietly devastating… In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield.”
    —Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
  • “Hauntingly beautiful and deeply felt… some of the best Afghanistan war-related storytelling I’ve seen.”
    —Hank Stuever, The Washington Post
  • “The last 10 years have produced an array of documentaries about post-9/11 America, but few are as haunting and compassionate as Heather Courtney’s ‘Where Soldiers Come From.’” Also chose WSCF as  #3 of the best nonfiction TV of 2011.
    —Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon
  • “Revelatory… emotional and engrossing.”
    —Steven James Snyder, Time
  • “More than most documentaries on the subject, Where Soldiers Come From builds a world for these young men and watches it turn upside down, reframing itself slowly and painfully around the unforeseen consequences of snap decisions.”

    – Ella Taylor, NPR

  • “A profoundly moving experience. One of the best movies I have seen this year.”
    —Michael Moore
  • “Packs a savage, but understated, punch.”
    —Andrew Barker, Variety
  • “It’s the moments that fracture prejudices and expectations that stick with you… when Dom, sitting in his bunk in Afghanistan, gives such a nuanced, compassionate read of the links between terrorism, poverty, and exploitation that your heart breaks for the boy and the Afghans he’s identifying with.”
    —Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice
  • “Refreshingly honest…. Spectacularly shot and pensively paced, Courtney’s documentary deserves to be watched closely and debated fiercely.”
    —Elliot Kotek, Paste
  • “A film every American should see…. Courtney’s steady directorial gaze… takes the debate over the war in Afghanistan out of the realm of vague and lofty discourse and back to the realm of human beings. In doing this, it paints the most universally relevant picture of this war so far.”
    —Lela Scott MacNeil, Rooftop Films
  • Where Soldiers Come From is unique. It is about war, about Afghanistan in particular, but it is more about civilization than about combat.”
    —Stanley Kauffmann, The National Review
  • “Courtney avoids all political posturing here, something rare in modern war documentaries. These are the guys, American kids. This is the war, it’s awful. And this is what happens. In your own backyard.”
    —Tom Long, The Detroit News
  • “Riveting… eye-opening.”
    —Aaron Hillis, LA Weekly
  • “There’s a hard-won and heart-stopping bit of homecoming at a rural high school that’s worthy of Friday Night Lights. Courtney might have used that scene to end the movie, had she intended to be gentle with us. But she won’t stop there, in the best tradition of going hard.”
    —Seth Colter Walls, The Village Voice
  • Where Soldiers Come From represents a remarkable commitment of Courtney’s time and effort. It’s also a significant, moving, saddening portrayal.”
    —Charles Ealy, Austin360.com
  • Where Soldiers Come From portrays these young men’s lives realistically, without flinching, and with warmth that doesn’t slop over into sentimentality. The personal takes precedent over the political. Don’t think of this as ’yet another war doc.’”
    —Jette Kernion, Slackerwood
  • “A coming-of-age story, part American Graffiti (without the music), part The Hurt Locker (without the melodrama)… full of telling details.”
    —Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune
  • “Tender” and “nuanced.”
    —Mark Brunswick, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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