In Film: At War

The human cost of war is the topic du jour in Hollywood these days, as well as on the indie doc circuit, where journalist Scott Kesterson gets under the skin of a soldier in At War, a documentary inspired by a year the Portland, Oregon-based freelance photographer spent embedded with Canadian troops based in Afghanistan.

It’s also very much the theme of Vern Thiessen’s Vimy, a world premiere drama about the first World War I that just had its world premiere at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton.

Set in 1917, Vimy is about a nurse from Nova Scotia helping four wounded Canadian soldiers stuck in a field hospital in France recover from the injuries they incurred at the Battle for Vimy Ridge. This was the battle where Canada came of age as a country on the world stage.

With Theatre Calgary’s world premiere of Dennis Garnhum’s adaptation of Timothy Findley’s classic novel The Wars, and Paul Gross’s $20 million production of the film Passchendaele, it’s been the autumn of World War I in Alberta.

Luckily for most guys, the biggest drama we face is how to spend our weekends. Still, it doesn’t hurt every once in a while to put yourself in a soldier’s shoes. It makes what our guys are going through in Afghanistan a little more understandable.

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