Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dry Land at the Plaza

Yesterday I got to see a screening of "The Dry Land" at the Plaza Theatre. I originally bought the tickets because, well, America Ferrera was going to be there! I've admired her work ever since "Real Women Have Curves." Second I like to see projects that talented current or former El Pasoans are doing. The director, Ryan Piers Williams, graduated from Hanks High School, and I remembered that last year parts of the movie were filmed here. Yay for El Paso.

But as for the movie itself, I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was about post-traumatic stress disorder, but I didn't expect it to be quite so jarring. There are scenes so brutal I know they would never make it into a mainstream movie. A woman in the row in front of me wiped tears from her eyes a few times. The man sitting next to me covered his ears whenever a shotgun blast seemed imminent (which was a few times).

I thought about the thousands of soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, and some of the scary situations that have made headlines lately. Sometimes I forget the power of film to educate and raise awareness, not merely entertain. I've browsed through many articles like this over the past few years, but I think this film finally made the issue of PTSD personal and three-dimensional.

I was impressed that the director really seemed to have his heart in the right place with this film. During the Q&A he said five years of research went into the film, and I think it shows in the details of the settings, the characters, and the portrayal of the symptoms of PTSD and how the characters react to it.

"The Dry Land," go see it if you can.

No comments: