Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Using a project initiated by the National Endowment of the Arts as a launching point to explore the wartime experiences of those who have fought on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan, filmmaker Richard E. Robbins offers a humanizing study of the soldiers who have suffered through the de-humanization of war. As letters from the soldiers are read by such actors as Aaron Eckhart, Robert Duvall, Beau Bridges, and Josh Lucas, the writings emerge as an honest examination of resounding personal effects that war can have on the men and women of America's armed forces. Over the course of the NEA project, over 1600 pieces of writing including poetry, fiction, and essays were collected - some uplifting, others devastating. The one constant factor in every letter, however, was an unguarded veracity that rings true with undeniable intensity. In using archival news footage and animated still photographs, Robbins strives to avoid the pitfalls of unwieldy reenactments and keep the viewer focused on the written word. Additional conversations with such renowned authors as Tobias Wolff, Tom O'Brien, and James Salter offer additional depth and analysis by presenting a broad look at the prevalent themes of war literature.