Filmmaker Depicts The Good Works Of Troops

January 8, 2008

As a follow-up to the story I did on November 28th, I’d like to provide more details about the movie “God and Country” by Mactavish Films. The more I hear about this film, the more I know it’s one that I want to see.

The media and the film industry has overloaded us with reports and movies coming out of Hollywood, suc as “Redacted,” “The Valley of Elah” and “Stop Loss” that tend to portray American Troops as blood-thirsty criminals. These movies almost come across as saying that the men and women serving in our country’s Armed Forces, don’t have any other choice in life, but to join the military. Sometimes these movies go so far as to make our Troops appear somewhat dimwitted and bumbling. Those of us who work closely with the Troops, whether it be in our jobs or through Troop Support organizations, know that these portrayals are about as far from the truth as you can get. One Charlottesville-based filmmaker, feels the same way.

Filmmaker Scott Mactavish portrays the courage and character that can be found among American military personnel in his new documentary, “God and Country.” Mactavish says the documentary is in response to what he calls Hollywood portrayals of American Troops as rapacios, homicidal sociopaths.

“God and Country,” which is now ready for distribution, corrects the general consensus of the military as guys who have no other recourse in life,” according to Mactavish. “It’s part of Hollywood’s thought pttern to put out that message and maybe that’s because they haven’t had much contact with the military and the people in it,” said Mactavish, himself a Gulf War veteran. “I wanted to disprove that and contradict what Hollywood filmmakers like Brian De Palma seem to believe, that American soldiers are rapists and murderers.”

Mactavish isn’t new to film production. His company, Mactavish Films has prodced quite a few videos and films, including “Summer Running: The Race to Cure Breast Cancer. Mactavish also has experience working on commercial movie crews, including “The Crow” prior to creating his own production company.

“God and Country” doesn’t focus solely on Iraq or Afghanistan, but instead includes segments from different military humanitarian efforts, including those in Djbouti, Belize and Guatemala, as well as segments on the Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort. Another feature in the film is a segment about the late Cpl. Bradley T. Arms who was killed on November 19, 2004 during combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq. Cpl. Arms grew up in Charlottesville and graduated from Charlottesville’s Covenant School. He later attended the University of Georgia and was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. He was called to active duty and died leading a combat team on a mission to help other Marines who were in a gun battle with insurgents.

“He didn’t have to enlist. He didn’t have to go, but he did it anyway, and he knew it meant going to war,” Mactavish said. “When you see the things he did in school and at his fraternity at the University of Georgia and his service to his country, you see the kind of character you find throughout the military.”

Brad’s father, Bob Arms agress with Mactavish. According to Arms, Mactavish and his crew came to his house and made the family feel at ease as they set up their cameras and asked them questions about Brad. Mr. Arms said that the hardest part for him and his family, was recounting the day that they saw three Marines walk up to their door in dress blues to inform them of Brad’s death.

“It’s sad tat there isn’t more recognition of the good the military has done,” he said. “Brad was not a high-profile look-at-me kind of personality. He was a quiet guy who walked the walk. He believed in what he was doing.”

According to Mactavish, his hopes are that his film will provide some type of balance to the images that are currently being put out by Hollywood and the media in regards to our Troops.
I totally agree with that and hope that by viewing his film that American citizens will have a more realistic view of our Troops.

“I’m not against protesting or marching, I would never discourage any fom being against war or speaking out, but in making your point, don’t paint 95 percent of the people doing their jobs with commitment and courage, as criminals,” Mactavish said. “There are people who believe America is still the good guy. We may not always get it right, but we’re also the first country in history t use its military to help others as much as we do.”

“God and Country” is definitely on my “must see” list and a movie that I will be ordering. It’s high time that someone shows what our Troops are actually accomplishing everyday, instead of the twisted Hollywood and media versions. Thank You Mr. Mactavish for making sure people are able to have a real and honest portrayal of our Troops.

Mactavish Films

Charlottesville Daily Progress


24 Responses to “Filmmaker Depicts The Good Works Of Troops”

  1. Hooah Wife and friends » Blog Archive » Hooah Roundup on January 8th, 2008 12:29 pm

    [...] A Soldier’s Mind tells about a film I’d like to see. Filmaker Depicts the Good Works of Troops [...]

  2. Army Sergeant on January 8th, 2008 7:11 pm

    I haven’t seen any of the other films you referenced except Valley of Elah, but I don’t necessarily think that film was made to portray troops as bad people who joined because they had no choice. It does portray a murder, but it is based off a real-life story of what actually happened to some troops after they got back after the start of the war. The father of the dead soldier apparently viewed and endorsed the movie, and I don’t know that he would have done that if he thought it was dishonoring his son’s memory or service.

  3. mtngrandpa on January 10th, 2008 6:14 pm


    “This is War” is another good movie that I would like to recommend. I recently purchased both movies, “GodAndCountry” and “This is War”. Both of these movies are non-political.

    THIS IS WAR - Everyone is talking about the war. No one is talking to the soldiers. Their story — Their words — Their war

    All sales of This Is War: Memories of Iraq help to support the Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, the National Combat History Archive and the Iraq/Afghanistan Oregon Memorial Fund.

    The movie “In the Valley of Elah” cannot claim to be a non-political. Since it was based upon a 2004 Playboy story called “Death and Dishonor” by Mark Boal. The director Paul Haggis fictionalized the elements, as he did with the name of the movie itself.

    However, it must be one of the Anti-War / Anti-America movement’s favorites as the IVAW member “Army Sergeant” clearly testifies to above.

    Endorsing movies that “dishonor” and “fictionalized” our troops is just a warm-up for their Winter Soldier Gig in March. Where their lying accusations will be questioned and challenged this time.

  4. RYates on January 11th, 2008 1:13 am

    Mtn Grandpa:

    Is it possible to be both anti-war and pro-America? If not, then why?

  5. Terri on January 11th, 2008 2:32 pm

    I’ll give you my opinion on that question and MtnGrandpa can give his as well.

    Too many times, the people who “claim” they’re anti-war, but support the troops don’t back their words up with their actions. Too often, their actions show that not only are they anti-war, but anti-troops and anti-American. Is it possible to be both? I’m sure it is, but it’s not often that you see it.

    How about you, Mr/Ms Yates. You come here constantly, attempt to change the topics of the posts by screaming out your extreme hatred of our President and that’s all we hear out of you. What do you do, to show that you support the troops and that you’re pro-American?

  6. SealPatriot on January 11th, 2008 5:26 pm

    See, it truly is bizarre that people who are in support of our military’s efforts in Iraq are labeled as pro-war. For a fact, nobody is pro-war or supports it as a general practice. War is horrible and it causes the suffering of so many valuable lives.

    Sadly, in this country during recent times, we choose to blame it all on the wrong people for political gains. For example, the attacks that insurgents in Iraq conduct aren’t being blamed on those insurgents.

    Instead, people choose to blame it on our troops’ presence with little or no evidence to substantiate their belief in this notion. I would like to ask that if our troops are the cause as to why the insurgents are launching attacks, then why are the numbers of insurgent attacks on every day civilians greater than the number of attacks on troops?

    Also, how about the number of civilians that get killed as a result of those insurgents attacks? Why is that number greater than the number of troop deaths? These questions are the questions I ask most often in discussions with the “So Called” anti-war people.

    Up to this day, noone has ever been able to give me a decent and logical answer. I always hear the very same response all the time. They would tell me that “it’s because the troops have better protective gear than the civilians”.

    Albeit, it is definately true that coalition soldiers have better protection than the Iraqis and I honestly respect that response to the fullest. It still does not change the fact that the numbers of attacks on civilians are much greater than the number of attacks on U.S. military and coalition members.

    In fact, according to the testimony of a friend of mine who was in Iraq and is going again for another tour of service(voluntarily), on typical days the numbers of attacks on civilians outnumber the attacks on troops by three times. On a day where the insurgents are at their ugliest, it can go as high as outnumbering coalition attacks by five times or more(although not always common).

    These facts are what drive me to decide not to buy into the beliefs of the people who think we should just abandon Iraq. More or less, I am not pro-war. I am outraged at the suffering wrought on Iraqi soil. However, I blame it on the correct people(the insurgents), and I thank and honor the troops(our troops and their allies) who go to that country to try and fight the people who commit these violent attacks on Iraqi neighborhoods.

    Maybe, these “anti-war” people who so gladly and falsely call me pro-war in a grotesque attempt at political gains should try and admit that the insurgents are the ones wreaking havoc in Iraq.

    Rather than trying to pin it on the troops who overwhelmingly disagree with them and prove that they lack credibility. After all, these people would sound more accurate and respectable if they were to try and be more honest. It’s kind of like how the old adage goes, “The truth will set them free”.

  7. mtngrandpa on January 14th, 2008 11:24 am


    Which war are you talking about?

    The fact of the matter is that we are fighting two wars simultaneously, but they are not the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are the wars on the battlefield in those two areas of operations and the war at home here with the domestic insurgency led by the radical left. The Iran and Afghanistan operations are relatively straightforward battles which our military will win if the pressure of pacifist defeatism can be prevented from interfering with their mission. The war here at home is much trickier since the subversive elements have so deeply ingrained themselves in the media, universities, government bureaucracies, labor unions and at least one major political party.

    Up to now the anti-American forces have ruled the streets. Now they have visible and effective competition. Since they don’t like that and have no effective way to prevent it they will now continue to whine about how their rights of free speech are being stifled.

    I am proud to be part of that grassroots American movement. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to support our military and their mission in this, their hour of need.

    RYates, are you a moonbat, still stuck on stupid?

    Stuck in the past and ignoring the future?

    The anti-American domestic Insurgency?

  8. RYates on January 15th, 2008 1:16 am

    Appreciate the response, mtn. g, but I think you more or less dodged the question whether one can, at the same time, be anti-war and pro-America or, a/k/a, whether one can support the troops but not their mission.

    As far as being stuck on stupid, perhaps I am but, if so, I am in good company seeings that approximately 60-75% of the country now believes that America is headed in the completely wrong direction with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - better late than never for the slow blossoms.

    Regardless, I appreciate your service, sir, and appreciate all that you do in service to our country.

  9. mtngrandpa on January 15th, 2008 9:18 am

    Simple answer for you RYates, NO…

    You cannot be “For the Troops and not the Mission” because it is a contradiction, promoted by the pacifist defeatism.

    “The Mission” Is what our troops are fighting and dying FOR. If you are fighting against their mission, you are fighting against the troops. This would Make you part of the domestic insurgency at home, the “other” war.

    Your “60-75% Good Company” you belong to are subversive elements against America, and on the side of those who are trying to kill our troops. How can you be for the Enemy of America and “Claim” to be pro-America? During the Vietnam war nobody stood up for the troops and the liberals won, by causing the defeat of America. — This time it is a different story, and you know it. The Anti-War “Good Company” you speak of is being abandoned by Pelosi and Reid. Groups like code pink and ANSWER, are losing their grips on the media as well. Wherever they go, they NOW have an opposing voice and NOT the only voice. The silent majority have finally started to speak, and discovered that “Freedom of Speech” is for everyone.

    Even the streets of Berkeley are no longer a safe haven for the anti-War, anti-American radical left. Makes the old protest song take on a new meaning.

    “For the times they are a-changin”

    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    RYates, turn away from the “dark side”, accept the fact that there are too many Vietnam Vets who aren’t gonna let it happen again…. NEVER AGAIN Just like that old protest song now fits the situation again — Against the anti-War group this time, the “Old establishment”.

  10. ryates on January 15th, 2008 1:42 pm

    Mtn. G.:

    Here is a quote from a friend of ours, CJ, over at A Soldiers Perspective:

    “For the most part, Soldiers know that this country is behind them and supports them regardless of their feelings about the war. The outpouring of support by Americans from all walks of life has humbled us immensely since the war began.”

    Are you taking issue with what CJ has to say on this subject? Looks as though not all Soldiers agree with your perspective!!

  11. DJ Taylor on January 15th, 2008 11:59 pm

    SO Ryates are you for American Soldiers dying but against why they are dying? you and Osama Bin Laden should become friends you got a lot in common.

  12. DJ Taylor on January 16th, 2008 12:03 am

    Sad thing is that a 15 year old has more common sense than you.

  13. Terri on January 16th, 2008 5:11 am

    RYates, you’re also taking just one wuote of CJ’s and purporting that to be representative of his beliefs.

  14. mtngrandpa on January 16th, 2008 8:14 am

    RYates, ya missed a little bit…

    The question was - There has been a lot of debate about whether or not or troops who have served in OIF and OEF . Many Americans have spoken out about no longer supporting the mission. Do you think that the U.S. Service Members are effected by this?

    CJ’s reply - I think to some degree we are, but for the most part we’re focused on the mission at hand.


    How does this not make sense to ya? The anti-war group’s “not supporting the mission” IS effecting them to some degree….

    Why can’t you just be “not supporting the enemy” instead? IF you are against “the mission”, you are for “the enemy”.

    Where did CJ say he was against the mission?

    I do see that he acknowledges that “soldiers have feelings about the war”.

    Are you saying that they are not allowed their feelings? I’m certainly not, and I certainly do not expect all soldiers to agree with me either.

    CJ goes on to say - “It is the NCOs responsibility to keep his Soldiers informed and motivated to complete their missions regardless of the political wrestling going on back home”.

    That part “COMPLETE THEIR MISSIONS” means victory, and not a defeat, not surrendering to the enemy because some of the “old Establishment Hippie’s” are against the war at home. To get the job done and then come home is victory.

    Then CJ say’s - “We know the good we’re trying to do and that is what is most important”.

    How can you argue against that?

    RYates, ya know there is a saying by Mark Twain that I try to live by.

    “Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the others”.

    I support our troops, their mission, their victory for America. There is an alignment, a logical sense of “doing right”, just like CJ said.

  15. Begley on January 18th, 2008 7:07 am

    Here is what my opinion of the whole situation. Whether we are for or against this war, we are given orders to follow. Whether we like them or not, it’s something we as soldiers must do in order to accomplish the mission. Would you prefer another September 11th to happen again? I know that majority of Americans would rather not have that scenario play out again. And regardless of who supports our troops or not, we are in the fight and we will stay in the fight until we claim victory, or every last one of us dies in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere that good old Uncle Sam sends us to. We owe our lives to the Military, what would you do if Akhmed was walking the streets of New York City, with a Russian Kalashnikov Rifle and you had to speak Arabic or die? Would you give up and say I hate America, or would you stand up for your beliefs and take the fall for freedom? Think about it, without our military could we survive?

  16. RYates on January 19th, 2008 12:48 pm


    Of course I do not want a repeat of 9/11, nor do I care to speak with Akhmed under the circumstances you describe. But while we are speaking hypothetically, neither do I want to create an entire army of fundamentalist soldiers by occupying sovereign nations that never posed a threat - e.g., Iraq.

    I appreciate your your thoughts, but must note that the commentary sounds like a snippet straight from the BushCo playbook - all fear based on hypothetical scenarios having little connection with reality.

  17. Terri on January 19th, 2008 4:08 pm

    Your hatred for the Bush administration, RYates so colors everything you say and do, that you’re unable to even listen to what people are saying to you, or even give what people are saying any thought. You never have anything of substance to say, just more and more of your Bush bashing hatred. How pathetic…..

  18. RYates on January 19th, 2008 4:15 pm

    Well, Terri, maybe you can point out just what part of the comment I was responding did not come directly from the Rovian field-manual of fear, fear and more fear.

  19. Terri on January 20th, 2008 7:03 am

    Have you seen any of the materil that al-Qaeda and other islamic facists are putting out, stating in uncertain terms that they want nothing more than to turn the US into an Islamic state? Apparently not, because everything Brandon is saying is a possibility if our Troops aren’t allow to complete the mission they’ve been given. ChrisG has provided tons of information, as have others, yet your hatred of Bush, continues to color your thinking to the point where you refuse to consider that it’s a definite possibility.

  20. RYates on January 21st, 2008 3:21 pm

    Are you suggesting that we went to war in Iraq based on a “possibility” that what Islamic folks putting out is true? I wasn’t aware that these folks, pre-invasion, were “putting out” material that they had not been putting out for decades already. Sorry, but I disagreed with the fear rhetoric pre-invasion, and I still disbelieve it today; excepting, of course, the rhetoric that now comes our way as a result of the invasion of a sovereign nation that posed little or no threat to the US pre-invasion.

  21. Army Sergeant on January 24th, 2008 2:37 am

    Wow, this has certainly gotten heated.

    Yes, it’s absolutely possible to be pro-troops and against the Iraq War. I am an active duty soldier and non-commissioned officer. I don’t know how in the world it would be possible for me to be against the troops. I am a troop. I am responsible for the welfare of other troops. In what reality can I possibly be anti-military? I reenlisted three times, most times for a handshake.

    But I think the Iraq War is hurting our military and making it less effective and less able to defend our nation.

  22. mtngrandpa on January 25th, 2008 4:00 pm

    It is impossible for the IVAW to say nice things about the troops during there winter soldier media event. Army Sergeant, likewise would not want to promote any movie that has a accurate view of our military.

    Paint them all as murders and rapist just like Kerry did in 1971.

    The lying has started already — Just like in the post above by a IVAW troll.

    The war now is not hurting our military as much as IVAW wants to hurt our military, the IVAW wants to dishonor another generation of our heros with their lies.

    This time their lies will not work.

    Yep Army Sergeant IVAW Troll, it’s certainly gonna get heated for you this time for sure.

  23. Terri on January 25th, 2008 6:21 pm

    I have to agree mtngrandpa, what IVAW has to say won’t go unanswered this time around. There are too many Troops, who’ve been there, more than once,I might add, who don’t have a problem saying, “Let us do our jobs and let us finish our mission in Iraq.”

  24. J Goode on December 2nd, 2008 6:28 pm

    There is a real and deliberate effort to portray EVERY member of the American military as a bloodthirsty, murdering, amoral thug in order to justify the lifelong persecution that many American people want to inflict upon them. The government has a vested interest in chilling any claims for benefits and is delighted when a veteran commits suicide. Almost like Vietnam.

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