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Terra Firma: A Film About Women, War, and Healing; Suck it Up and Drive On cover photo

Terra Firma: A Film About Women, War, and Healing; Suck it Up and Drive On 2014

Recommended

Distributed by Anthony-Masterson Productions
Produced by Owen Masterson, and Christine Anthony
Directed by Owen Masterson, and Christine Anthony
DVD, color, 88 min.



Sr. High - General Adult
Iraq War, 2003-2011, Afghan War, 2001- , Post-traumatic stress disorder, Farming, Women, Psychology, United States

Date Entered: 12/17/2014

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

This production portrays three female former United States service members who are now farmers in order to deal with their struggles after deployment(s) in the Middle East. Each of these women engage in a different type and economic model of farming. One, Althea Raiford, is a part-time farmer on land in coastal Georgia that has been in her family for several generations. Sonia Kendrick is able to farm on “unused” tracts of land in an urban area in Iowa and gives the food to agencies that feed the poor. Anna Mann is a small tract farmer in North Carolina who uses organic methods and sells her produce and animal products to locals and in the farmer’s market. All have channeled their boundless energy in to the missions that are now before them: making their farms viable, sustainable and successful. These three veterans exhibit great resolve, courage, and determination, reminding the reviewer of the late Stephen Ambrose’s observation that a great number of the returning G.I.s from World War II went into such fields as education and construction. The same could be seen in the Westward migration immediately after the Civil War. The veterans wished to funnel their inner energy into building something rather than destroying something. These women are no different. The filmmakers allow each veteran tell her story of service in the military and their individual struggles in dealing with their experiences and how to find a place in the civilian world. The technical aspects of this production are excellent – picture and sound are crisp with no perceived problems. Libraries with an interest in veterans and women’s studies would benefit from adding this to their collections.

Awards

  • Winner, Jury Award, Rome International Film Festival 2014