Review: How To Fold a Flag DVD

STUDIO: Virgil | DIRECTOR: Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
6/14/11 | PRICE: DVD $19.99
BONUSES: public service announcement
SPECS: NR | 85 min. | Documentary | widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

How To Fold A Flag movie scene

War veterans are honored before returning to civilian lives in How To Fold a Flag.

Documentary filmmakers Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker offer a poignant glimpse of the newly returned war veterans in How To Fold a Flag.

Filmed circa 2008 and released in 2011, the movie observes the stateside lives of four members of the 2/3 Field Artillery group, whom the filmmakers met during the production of their 2004 documentary Gunner Palace in Iraq.

Most of the subjects in How To Fold a Flag are clearly disenfranchised by the lack of opportunities that awaited them after their service. Javorn Drummond is a former high school football player living in semi-poverty as he tries to finish his college degree. Michael Goss was discharged from the military after suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, and now works as a cage fighter. Stuart Wilf is an anger-fueled convenience store clerk who relieves his aggression through graffiti and playing in a heavy metal band. The most idealistic of the group is Jon Powers, a young officer who returned to western New York and ran for Congress, and whose optimism is tested by the dog-eat-dog world of politics.

It has been argued that the contemporary media has paid too little attention to the plight of the returning soldier, and How To Fold a Flag approaches the subject with honesty and wit. But it tries not to get bogged down in the grim reality of soldiers in a war without glory returning to a country caught in an economic recession.

In an effort to bring the movie to a more mainstream audience, pop documentarian Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) has chosen Flag as the first film to appear under his new “Morgan Spurlock Presents” brand. Additional traction is hoped to be gained with the help of the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), which is supporting the film’s release.

The DVD debuted three weeks after Flag was unfurled on a variety of digital streaming and download platforms in a coordinated pre-Memorial Day 2011 release plan (in lieu of a run in theaters).


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About Asa

Asa Kendall Jr. is a freelance writer in Atlanta. His DVD reviews have appeared on the Turner Classic Movies website.