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Where Soldiers Come From

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Heather Courtney

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About the Movie

From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war. A coming-of-age story, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown, Director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access, following these young men as they grow and change from reckless teenagers, to soldiers looking for bombs in Afghanistan, to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home. Enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and college tuition support, best friends Dominic and Cole join the National Guard after graduating from their rural high school. After several of their friends join with them, the young men are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for roadside bombs. By the time their deployment ends, they are no longer the carefree group of friends they were before they were sent to Afghanistan. Repeated bombs blowing up under and around their convoys have led to the new silent signature wound of the Afghan war, Traumatic Brain Injury, and they have all become increasingly disillusioned about their mission. The challenges really begin to surface when they return to their families and communities in Michigan and try to fit back into their daily routines. WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM looks beyond the guns and policies of an ongoing war to examine the war's effect on the future of these young men, their parents and loved ones, and the whole community when young people go off to fight.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 21
  • Fresh: 17
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 7.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Sep 9, 2011

Fresh: Director Heather Courtney's emotional and engrossing portrait of America's bravest. – Steven Snyder, TIME Magazine, Nov 10, 2011

Rotten: A work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Oct 7, 2011

Fresh: Much of what's presented is familiar territory, but it's the moments that fracture prejudices and expectations that stick with you. – Ernest Hardy, Village Voice, Sep 6, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Where Soldiers Come From

I first saw Where Soldiers Come From at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and it blew me away. I was amazed by the access and footage Heather Courtney, the director, got for this film. It was the first time I really felt like I was in the middle of Afghanistan, scared that at any minute a bomb could blow up. Where Soldiers Come From tells the story of five friends who join the military together and then get shipped off to war together. It is a beautiful story of friendship and a realistic portrait of these men whose job it is to find IEDs (improvised explosive device). It shows what this war does to men and how the military and people treat them when they return home. Do yourself a favor and watch this film.

Where Soldiers Come From
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings