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Samantha Hughes, a teenaged Kentucky girl, never knew her father, who died in Vietnam before her birth. Samantha lives with her Uncle Emmett, who also served in Vietnam. Emmett hangs around with Tom, Earl, and Pete, three other Vietnam vets who, like Emmett, all have problems of one kind or another, that relate to their war experiences. Sam, as Samantha is known, becomes obsessed with finding out about her father and his experiences, but Emmett and the other vets don't want to talk about the war. Sam pushes everyone to attend a dance honoring the town's veterans, but Pete and Earl get into a fight, Emmett disappears, and Tom takes Sam home for an unsuccessful tryst. When Sam reads her father's diary, she begins to understand what his life and death meant, and she and Emmett, with a trip to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, come at least temporarily to terms with the war in their lives. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
It's easy to see why so few people seem to have connected with this underrated movie. There's no nudity, no violence, no killing, no superstars chewing up the scenery. It is, instead, a quiet, maybe too slow-moving, film about a teenage girl at the cusp of womanhood trying to learn about what Vietnam had been like for her father, who was killed there. She also begins to see her ex-G.I. uncle clearly, for the first time, as a survivor of something terrible.
In Country is about the Vietnam War only as in the sense that it's also about a family's history whose impact bridges the generations. It's less about events than it is about becoming a grown-up in an America that has a sixty-second attention span and a fifteen-minute memory.
Emily Lloyd, who you'd never guess is English, does a beautifully sensitive job in the starring role, and Bruce Willis, as her uncle, turns in a very fine, very dignified performance.
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