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.