When was the last time you were truly moved by watching a documentary? Was it watching a nature documentary and seeing the potential damage done to them? Could it be a political documentary showing the horrors going on in the world? Or maybe…just maybe it is hearing about a true story of valor and bravery? When I sat down today to watch My Father’s Brothers, I did not expect to be so deeply moved.
How did Shawn Kelley, the director, accomplish such a feat? Honestly, Kelley did not have to do anything fancy. This is such a by-the-numbers approach to a documentary with its old school visuals. The film features a mix of straight interview scenes and raw footage from Vietnam. But Kelley knows that this story will truly sell itself. Thanks to the raw emotion of these heroic men, this film can hit where it needs to.
Speaking of, what is this story that can hit so hard? One day…one platoon…a bond that still passes the test of time. The audience is treated to this harrowing story about danger and violence in wartimes. Each man gives a genuine retelling of their perspective right to camera and that is all Kelley must do. Some might be turned off by the “made-for-TV” feel of the documentary and how “unrefined” the interview footage is. For me, it was endearing to hear their perspectives unfiltered and full of meaning. I was incredibly moved when these men would choke up and feel these terrible events all over again.
Are you ready for this powerful and poignant experience? The heroic music mixed with the raw accounts of these men are worth your time. I will not spoil any moments of their tale because I could not do justice like they can. Kelley makes the most of this low budget film and delivers a special experience worth taking. Seek out My Father’s Brothers, it is worth your time.