BRATS: A Film Dedicated to the Military Brat


Lately, I've been preoccupied with the idea of preserving our history as military families. It's my hope that letters, podcasts, books and blogs will offer a treasure trove of material for those who come after us, and that these items will give them some insight as to what it was like to be a military family in a post 9/11 world. One day, I'll be looking down from the clouds when someone discovers the letter that I placed under our hardwood floors, and I hope it is meaningful for those who find it.

But what about those who have come before us? Independent filmmaker Donna Musil understands the importance of preserving history. So much so, that she devoted seven years to developing BRATS: Our Journey Home. BRATS is a film devoted to military children.

BRATS is the first cinematic glimpse into a global subculture whose journey to adulthood is a high-octane mixture of incredible excitement and enormous pain. Make no mistake - BRATS is not about the U.S. military - it's about their children, who grow up in a paradox that is idealistic and authoritarian, privileged and perilous, supportive and stifling - all at the same time. Their passports say "United States," but they're really citizens of the world.Singer/songwriter and Air Force brat Kris Kristofferson leads us through the heart of their experiences, sharing intimate memories with fellow BRATS, including General Norman Schwarzkopf and author Mary Edwards Wertsch. Their stories reveal the peculiar landscape of their childhood, the culture that binds them together, and the power it exerts over their lives.A seven-year work of passion by independent filmmaker Donna Musil, BRATS features rare archival footage, home movies and private photographs from post-war Japan, Germany, and Vietnam.

Watch the trailer. BRATS looks to be a very interesting film about the life of military BRATS throughout several decades. Click here for screening dates, and to find out if BRATS will be screened near you. If you can't make it to a screening, you can purchase the DVD.

Donna Musil is working on future projects about military brats, and you could become a part of them. Click here for details.

Thanks to reader Cheri for sending the link.

Update: Join us Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m. EDT at SpouseBUZZ Talk Radio for an interview with Donna Musil, filmmaker of BRATS: Our Journey Home. Click here for details.

Update II: Click here to listen to our interview with Donna Musil:

Back to the topic of preserving history, now would also be a good time to remind you that Marna Krajeski is seeking submissions from military spouses for her new book. In our podcast with Marna, she discusses the importance of creating a historical record of the lives of military spouses. You could be featured in Marna's upcoming book. Please submit your stories for Marna's anthology. The deadline is August 1. Details here. Marna is correct, the more we document our lives, the better for those who come after us.

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