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Flag of My Father (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jake
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Captain Judith Rainier
...
Ben
...
Simon
Kent Jude Bernard ...
PFC Melvin Davis
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PFC Zeke Pomfrey
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SGT Angelo Santiago
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Sarah
...
Yvonne Poole
Kip Cummings ...
Pastor
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Jonesy
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Dr. Souza
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Mr. Marino
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Levi
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1 November 2011 (USA)  »

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Absorbing faith-based military drama
16 January 2012 | by (Shreveport,LA) – See all my reviews

A gripping, heartfelt story of courage and faith, Flag of My Father is the story of Cpt. Judith Rainier, well played by Gigi Erneta, an Army nurse who is suffering from horrific flashbacks due to her POW experiences in the Second Gulf War. To add to her difficulties, her half- brothers (led by John Schneider and Andrew Sensenig) harbor animosity toward her for being their dad's (William Devane) favorite child, due to their bond of being war veterans and Judith being his only daughter. These feelings surge to the surface after the sudden death of her father, when the family has to decide as to whom has the right to own their late father's flag and war medals. As Judith deals with both trying to reconcile herself with her brothers as well as coming to grips with her own PTSD, the brothers discover a stunning revelation and in the process will get another chance at forgiveness and redemption.

Every once in awhile you enter a film with preconceived notions, only to be surprised or even blind-sided at how good and well-done a film actually is. Flag of My Father is such a film, where the audience goes in and expects the usual well-intentioned but poorly constructed and acted low-budget "Christian" film, only to leave stunned by how well the story is presented and acted. It's a military based drama that gives a voice to our veterans, yet doesn't come off as being too preachy or get bogged down in political statements or sensationalistic elements. Instead it goes straight for issues of the heart, dealing with not only how a combat veteran deals with the horrors of war but the universal need of each to connect with family and how painful it is for those family bonds to be broken due to trite misunderstandings and jealousies. It also shows God's redemptive power and how he can heal those broken relationships. Gigi Erneta is sincere in her portrayal of a physically and emotionally wounded vet, enabling the audience to connect with and identify with her. John Schneider and Andrew Sensenig, as the lead brothers of Daniel and Ben, take what could have been totally unsympathetic caricatures and make them into real two-dimensional people who are misled by their pride, selfishness and false assumptions. Kent Jude Bernard is a standout as a fellow POW who is encouraged by Judith's unwavering hope and faith. And William Devane, in the brief but pivotal part of the Vietnam veteran father, shines and adds poignancy to his role; it's a reminder of how strong and underrated a character actor he is. Director and writer Rodney Ray, in his first full-length motion picture, shows real talent in knowing how to construct a powerful story and to execute it professionally within the confines of a limited budget and resources. In a genre often marked with poor quality and technical incompetency, he is clearly a talent to be reckoned with. It will be interesting to see his future offerings.

Flag of My Father is a great film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking in how it sheds light on the internal and external struggles of some returning vets (and those who don't understand them) as well as the process of healing through faith and forgiveness. If you want a patriotic film that you can enjoy with your entire family, or just a good, inspirational film in general, be sure to check this gem out today.


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