I had the privilege to attend a press screening for the movie THE DRY LAND before it appears in theaters July 30th.
Writer/director Ryan Piers Williams and the actors, starting with the central character played by Ryan O'Nan, and including everyone involved in the film have created an incredibly compelling story of a soldier's return from Iraq to the "peace" of West Texas.
The film focuses on the impact of undiagnosed PTSD on the soldier, his wife and his community although the words Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are never uttered in the film.
What's so amazing about this film is that the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense gave support for the film. In fact, here's a quote from the press notes from U.S. Army entertainment industry liaison Lt. Colonel Gregory W. Bishop:
The biggest barrier to a soldier getting help is the perceived stigma .. we want troops to know it's okay to seek help for any challenges they may face, especially PTSD. It's critical that we lead by example, and as an institution, that we're encouraging opening dialogue on PTSD and mental health. I'm proud of our participation in this film. It's an honest, open exploration of a struggle that many of our troops go through. I think it will help soldiers.
I'll be writing more about this film in later blog posts, so for this post I want to end by quoting film writer/director Ryan Piers Williams from the press notes:
The most important feeling I want the audience to leave with is hope. This film explores many of the dark aspects of coming home from war, but the message I want to leave people with is that there is hope for a life after the war.The film's end credits include this message:
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), help is available:
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. Her newest military-related project is supporting the upcoming PTSD Walk Across America.Phyllis' social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing combines traditional marketing principles and Internet marketing strategies to put power in your hands. Read her social media marketing blog.