Get Adobe Flash player

Shell Shocked Is Not PC, Nor Is My Take On ‘Farmer/Veteran’

April 17th, 2016 · Tags:Arts · Satire



Day three of The 2016 Dallas International Film Festival was farmer day for PingWi-Fi.  An old friend recommended “Farmer/Veteran.”  Well, the filmmakers had me at “farmer” … or “veteran” for that matter (two of my favorite groups of people).

If you check out the link below, you will see the primary subject of the documentary – Alex.  Interesting, in the Web site photo, Alex has the same “Joe Strummer” hairstyle as the guy in the previous mentioned film “Occupy Texas” … earlier on this site.  The similarities end there.


FarmVet is a documentary slice-of-life filmed over a span of four years, detailing the daily lives of a decorated Iraqi war veteran and his new bride as they start a farm and battle the demons of PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  The couple have a small acreage in North Carolina that they share with a handful of goats, a brood of chickens and a cow or two — no easy task for a guy whose daily dosage of pills (prescribed meds) outnumbers his critters.


To say the least, the film is upsetting and extremely thought provoking … certainly a “must see” for anyone who has, or whose loved ones have, experienced war. It’s a bit controversial and probably will never see widespread distribution in theaters.  However, the film is scheduled for a Public Broadcasting Stations airing — a perfect venue — so watch for it.

Not much to say.  FarmVet is not entertaining, but it had to be made. The storytelling is well done … but the story has some ambiguity …  so it creates more questions than it answers.

I want to end on that note … the questions.  After the screening, the filmmakers Alix Blair, Jeremy Lange and D.L. Anderson did  a Q&A with the audience.  I asked one question, but bit my tongue rather than posing my second. question.  Because the film is about farm life, it graphically depicts birth and yes also the death of animals.  I almost asked if the filmmakers expected any backlash from the more overzealous of the animal-lover kingdom.

I resisted,, thinking and hoping that was just too dumb of a question … But yes … vindication.  The very next question was from a shorthaired woman in the back of the hall.  She — or at least her question — was not concerned with the mental state of this United States military veteran.  Her question was not about the wellbeing of the new family’s young children.   The question wasn’t about the hell-on-earth we call war.

You guessed it.  She was concerned about the treatment and the realistic depiction of the treatment of chickens.

I couldn’t have said it any better.  One of the filmmakers politely said, more or less, “Well.  It’s a farm.”

What’s that word … “dominion?” … Ha … the farm boy in me was a little bit disappointed there wasn’t a good neck-wringing for old time’s sake, and some artsy slo-mo footage to boot … I digress …

Hug a vet today and support Chic-fil-A:)

Know what I sayin?