A scene from MEMORIAL DAY, a film directed by Sam Fischer. Picture courtesy Image Entertainment. All rights reserved.
- Perspective Films
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Memorial Day (2011/2012)
Also Known As: Souvenirs
Opened: 05/16/2012 Limited
|East Grand For...||05/16/2012 - 05/29/2012||14 days|
|NoHo 7||05/25/2012 - 05/31/2012||7 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
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Rated: R for some war violence.
When 13-year-old Kyle Vogel discovers his grandfather's World War II footlocker on Memorial Day, the two strike a deal: Kyle can pick any three objects inside, and Grandpa Bud will tell him the stories behind each one. As we flash back to Bud's WWII experiences, we also flash forward to Kyle's future as a soldier in Iraq, where he experiences friendships, losses and moral dilemmas that parallel his grandfather's--and bring new meaning to that day on the porch.
When SSgt. Kyle Vogel leaves a handwritten letter on the seat of his car, grabs a pistol and steps into a Minnesota forest, we wonder who he is and what he's about to do. Flash back a few months as Vogel lies wounded in a hospital near Anbar Province, Iraq. The night before he's due to return to combat, his doctor, Lt. Kelly Tripp, presses him on why he's so obsessed with collecting battle souvenirs. Kyle proceeds to tell her what happened on Memorial Day, 1993, when, as a 13-year old boy, he discovered his Grandpa Bud's WWII footlocker.
Though reluctant to talk about the war, Bud, who served with the 82nd Airborne, strikes a deal with Kyle: "Pick any three objects, and I'll tell you the story behind each one." As we see Bud's WWII tales from Europe, we also see how Kyle's experiences in Iraq have paralleled them--and how that day on the porch will affect how he ultimately deals with the losses, regrets and moral dilemmas that unite all soldiers across wars and generations.
Everybody knows someone who "won't talk about the war." And millions of people have footlockers in their attics filled with memories that are both joyful and difficult. This film is for everyone who identifies with that sense of the untold story, and my hope is that it affects each person who sees on it a very personal level.
In the bigger picture, I want this film to enhance the very meaning of the Memorial Day holiday in America--so that in addition to being a day of remembering, it also becomes a day of sharing memories. Veterans from World War II to the present are rarely forthcoming in telling their stories. We need to ask--almost insist--that these brave men and women share their experiences, and then we need to do them the honor of sitting back and listening.
Memorial Day is an uplifting family movie that I hope can serve as a conduit to opening footlockers around the world and releasing the amazing stories locked inside. As one Army major said about the movie:
"I don't know when I'm going to tell my kids about my combat experiences, but I'm going to start by showing them this film."
-- Sam Fischer