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A.W.O.L (2006)

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Vietnam. 1972. US Army Special Forces Major Cliff Marquette leads a squad ordered to investigate unusual reports and secure a remote jungle temple locals believe has mystical powers. The ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Tuan Tran ...
Les Robinson ...
Doug Amaturo ...
Marine #1
Tow Head Soldier
Joseph M. Smith ...
Marine #2
Greg Brooker ...
Hooded Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Soldier (as Franco Calabrese)
Christopher Bersh ...
Simon Brooke ...


Vietnam. 1972. US Army Special Forces Major Cliff Marquette leads a squad ordered to investigate unusual reports and secure a remote jungle temple locals believe has mystical powers. The Marines guarding the temple have withheld provisions for days from a Viet Cong prisoner. Despite severe mistreatment, the prisoner mysteriously shows no signs of suffering. Marquette confronts the Marine in charge, Garris for torturing a prisoner of war when suddenly enemy forces attack and mortar shells rock the temple. An exceptionally heroic, but losing battle lands Marquette in the hands of a merciless Viet Cong torturer. His men are dead; his screams unheeded. At the height of agony, Marquette's world is turned upside down. In an instant, he finds himself a stranger in the midst of an American life that apparently belongs to him - an idyllic but unrecognizable life complete with a loving wife and two children he's never seen before. Marquette struggles to take in what is happening to him. First ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Twist of Fate Can Be Torture





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December 2006 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A definite WOW short film. Excellent story with superb performances & production value.
4 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Excellent story, wonderful acting, amazing production values and a cool, action-packed short with a perfect twist at the end. What a great short film!

I saw this film in Vail or Aspen at a film festival and was wowed by it. Then I saw it again at another festival (where it won again) and I was even more impressed because subtle touches become evident the second time around - for a short film, this packs a lot of clever layers into a short time.

AWOL is not for the faint of heart, but it is very well done and completely impressive for a short film - for any film actually. It's an interesting story told very well, and every scene moves the story, which reveals good film-making instincts went into making this film. The film looks gorgeous and David Morse is also stunning, with a dynamic performance delivered in every scene. Watching his character attempt to defeat the curveballs life is throwing him makes a great viewing experience.

It also should be noted, that when tortures of war are in the headlines everyday, the lines between reality, good and evil, can get very gray while the rhetoric gets loud and attempts to make things black and white. AWOL smartly allows the audience to decide for themselves what they think the message is, what is real and what is not, which adds to the mystery.

Both times I've seen it, the audience was WAY more into this movie than the others playing with it, which is saying a lot. There are a lot of shorts out there right now, but few deliver the kind of all around excellence and complex subject matter that AWOL does.

It sounds to me like the previous reviewer is off his or her rocker, or has some personal agenda, because this really is a great example of short independent film-making. I see a LOT of short films, and I must say if only ALL the shorts making the festival rounds were this good, THEN the shorts business would have some serious legs.

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