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The Dry Land DVD

America Ferrera , Melissa Leo , Ryan Piers Williams    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD

Price: 1.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product Description

A U.S. soldier (Ryan O Nan) home from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, struggles to fall back into rhythm with the world he left in Texas. Suffering from severe memory loss, and flashbacks to the war, the troubled soldier leaves a loving wife (America Ferrera), mother (Melissa Leo) and best friend (Jason Ritter) for a cross-country road trip with an Army buddy (Wilmer Valderrama). Together with another friend (Diego Klatenhoff), James is able to add up the missing pieces. The resurfaced memories prove too much for James, triggering a violent, and emotional breakdown that threatens the home life he is fighting to rebuild.

Winner Of Best International Feature at the Edinburgh Film Festival

Featuring an all-star cast including Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl), Jason Ritter (The Event), Wilmer Valdorrama (That 70's Show)

Product Description

The Dry Land DVD [DVD] (2012) America Ferrera; Melissa Leo; Wilmer Valderrama

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-Traumatic Stress Hits Hard 10 Nov 2010
By D. HupFons - Published on
A candid, intense indie film about the destructive effects of post-traumatic stress disorder with first-rate performances by Ryan O'Nan (James), America Ferrera (Sarah), Melissa Leo (James' mother) & the rest of the cast. Only minutes into the story it becomes obvious that James is haunted by some disturbing experiences during his tour in the Iraq War. The rest of the film delves into James' painful quest to come to grips with the events that have shaken his psyche and seem to propel him into out-of-control situations that range from violent tyrades with Sarah, his friends & even himself. Without revealing the specific events that unfold as the film progresses, I urge viewers to watch the film with the commentary AFTER watching the movie to discover the efforts by the screenwriter & 1st-time director (Ryan Piers Williams) & America Ferrera (lead actress & co-executive producer) to portray the impacts of PTSD authentically. There are some light moments in the film that not only help to break the intensity of the drama but also to show some of the wild emotional outlets that soldiers engage in to help them cope with the stress, pain & fear of war. All in all, the film is a gem.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ryan Piers Williams' thoughtful film bores in on the pain and fallout of PTSD 13 Dec 2010
By Andy Orrock - Published on
I'm a huge fan of this small, realistic, superbly rendered directorial debut from Texas native Ryan Piers Williams. Williams' thoughtful script and film bores in on the pain and fallout of PTSD, both in terms of the guilt and heaviness carried by the afflicted - here portrayed vividly by lead Ryan O'Nan, who is outstanding in every way - and the waves of impact he spreads slowly, then suddenly, over friends and family.

The ensemble is uniformly excellent. As mentioned, lead O'Nan is a revelation. The radiant and talented America Ferrera is here, too, as winning as ever. Not only is she the lead actress, she's also the film's executive producer. She'd not set out to appear in the film, but decided to do so when she and Mr. Williams (the two, who met at USC Film School, are engaged to be married) realized that her presence on-screen would make the film stand out amongst other film festival submissions.

We had the stroke of good fortune to see 'The Dry Land' at the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival. Williams, O'Nan and Ms. Ferrara spoke to the audience after the film (we'd missed Wilmer Valderrama - he appeared at a previous showing and caused, as you can imagine, a bit of a commotion). It was there we learned of the filmmakers' assiduous efforts to gain the military's support for their production.

In fact, a visit to Walter Reed Hospital figures prominently in film and it was clearly done with the backing of the armed forces. Moreover, the film was shown to warm and enthusiastic receptions in military bases across the country. One could truthfully say that the film has made a meaningful contribution to the US military's move down the 'road of evolution' towards acceptance of the true, insidious character of PTSD. As the film shows, it's not just in your head, and it's not a sign of weakness.

Another actor worth special mention: Diego Klattenhoff, amazing as Henry. O'Nan's and Valderrama's characters make a multi-state road trip to see their erstwhile company-mate now in a sorry physical state - not to mention a precarious mental one - at Walter Reed. It's Diego's Henry who indelibly brings to the surface the memory that O'Nan's James has tried so desperately to bury.

I urge all fans of quality independent cinema to support this tremendous film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dry Land 2 Jan 2012
By Ronald L Harwell - Published on
This really is a great and tragic film. The acting is superb, the story great, but the story is dark and does not have a happy ending for anyone. I loved this film but it took a stepping back, thinking about it and then going back for another view. If this had "A" list actors/actresses in it, it would be in the running for Oscar contention as I put this film in the same category as Deer Hunter. It is a near perfect film. It is believable, and does not hold back. It is a small film but every penny is on the screen. I cannot recommend this film enough.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film. 23 May 2013
By Herman Keizer, Jr. - Published on
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This was recommended to me by a friend and it more than met my expectations. I am working on a project on Moral Injury after war and this film is very helpful in dramatizing the realities of coming home from war.
5.0 out of 5 stars land is rough upon the return home 12 April 2013
By B. E Jackson - Published on
What a moving film *this* one is. The Dry Lands is about a soldier who returns home from war and has to learn to adjust to life the way it was before he left. However... now it's different. The mental damage this young man experienced overseas has remained and interferes with the love and enjoyment he's supposed to feel for his wife, and his wife and friends are the ones who pay the biggest price for his new attitude.

He wakes up in the middle of the night and strangles his wife by total accident, resulting in her not only coughing to regain herself, but totally baffled. He stumbles upon a drunken obnoxious idiot who insults the man as much as he can (in this case however, the soldier was totally justified in whipping this guys behind- he was obviously being a major jerk looking for a fight). The soldier *almost* makes a major mistake with this particular person but luckily holds back from going through with it. You'll see what it is when you watch the film. A result of post traumatic stress disorder, unfortunately a very real condition that effects millions I imagine, around the world.

The Dry Lands keeps everything around home, so we witness the wife uncertain what to do about her husband's erratic behavior concerning the decisions she makes for herself and her husband, and the man's friends try their best to help their friend recover and return to normal. However later on during a night out of town, we find out that returning to normal is going to be one mighty tough task after the knowledge is revealed during a trip to the hospital what happened to another soldier who's left in a wheelchair. The damage here was irreversible for a couple different reasons.

Really sad movie. In one segment I couldn't understand why this one wife refused to accept her husbands (or boyfriends) friend into the house. I chalked it up to her being irrational and stubborn, but now I know. She didn't want to experience potentially two people with the after effects of war living in her home. The observant part of me couldn't help but notice that the family dog was exceptionally smart in the way his eyes were paying attention to his master looking for commands.

The Dry Lands takes a soldiers return home from a more realistic point of view, which explains the slow pace and quiet atmosphere throughout the movie. Strongly recommended but you'll probably get upset watching certain events. Amazing acting all around too.
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