Home from three combat tours in Iraq, Alex Sutton forges a new identity as a farmer, hatching chicks and raising goats on 43 acres in rural North Carolina. He dives into life on the farm with his new love Jessica, but cannot shake the lingering traumas of war. The stories he tells about battlefield experiences become unmoored from reality as he cycles between states of heightened awareness and “feeling zombified” from a cocktail of prescriptions meant to keep him stable. For the viewer, as for Alex, what to believe about his past is uncertain. The farm becomes a terrain to unearth what is buried, what it really means to be “the perfect soldier," and where to find the way forward.
RESPONSE AND PRESS
Best Documentary Feature - Brooklyn Film Festival
Southern Documentary Jury Prize - Macon Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature - Charlotte Film Festival
Southern Stories Jury Prize - Hot Springs DFF
Jury Finalist - New Orleans Film Festival
Broadcast Premiere - Independent Lens | PBS
UNFLINCHING AND OCCASIONALLY UNSETTLING, FARMER/VETERAN BURROWS PAST THE FLAG-WAVING AND THE STIGMA THAT HAVE SHROUDED RETURNING SOLDIERS OF EVERY AGE, INVITING US TO WITNESS THE BENT BUT UNBROKEN PATH OF ONE WARRIOR’S REBUILDING.
— Jonathan Kieran / New Orleans Film Festival
Alex's story is important for civilians because it shows that there are men and women who served our country but aren't being taken care of when they return. This film is beautiful, and terrifying, it has strengthened my resolve to help our veterans build a life for themselves and their families.
— Chris Burch, Former US Army Special Forces,
Co-founder Team Vetscape
YOU MIGHT THINK THIS IS A STORY YOU'VE HEARD BEFORE, BUT IT ISN'T. IT’S A FILM THAT DEFIES YOUR EXPECTATIONS AT EVERY TURN.
— Daniel Laabs, Dallas International Film Festival
Many people look at a careful, brave portrait like this and call it ‘unflinching.’ Yet I flinched repeatedly, a telling sign that this film asks us to come closer and empathize with the messy, even horrifying sacrifices our veterans and their families make in service to the country.
— Wesley Hogan, Director, Center For Documentary Studies
MYTHS ARE MADE TO BE RECONSTRUCTED. LIVES ARE MADE TO BE REDEEMED. FARMER/VETERAN IS A FILM WHICH ATTEMPTS BOTH. THE ASSURED VISION AND CARE OF ITS FILMMAKERS IS A TESTAMENT TO THEIR LOVE OF CRAFT AND SUBJECT. BLAIR AND LANGE MIRACULOUSLY AVOID ISSUES-BASED RHETORIC.
— Colin Stacy, Reel Spirituality / FULL REVIEW
I found the film incredibly moving, honest and the best film portrayal of the difficulties of transitioning from military to civilian life for a combat veteran that I have ever had the privilege of viewing.
— Dr. Irving Kuo, Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health Services
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
Farmer/Veteran is keenly empathetic toward its subjects while at the same time being rigorous about the journalism and interviewing. That’s a hard balance to pull off and this film does it so well. even given the darkness at the core of it, it’s such a pretty movie.
Sean Cole, Producer, This American Life
Compassionate yet unflinching, farmer/veteran tackles the collateral damage of a culture of seemingly endless war.
— Brooklyn Film Festival Jury / Best Feature Documentary Award
The issue of caring for war veterans is often used as a political football, but those who conduct these skirmishes may be blissfully distant from veterans themselves. Farmer/Veteran should be mandatory viewing for politicians as well as anyone with an interest in the realities and aftermath of armed conflict.
— David Klein - Independent Weekly