Not Yet Begun to Fight, an unconventional look at the impact of war and the journey to recovery, will make its Chicago debut at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street in Chicago on Saturday, February 9 at 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. General admission is $11 at the Box Office, visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800-982-2787. Discount admission for veterans is $7. The Film Center is full ADA accessible. Parking is recommended at the InterPark Self-Park at 20 E. Randolph.
Not Yet Begun to Fight has sold out numerous screenings across the country and won prestigious festival awards including the Moving Mountains Prize at the Mountainfilm Telluride and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Florida Film Festival. Attending both screenings in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center will be a former U.S. Marine, Erik Goodge (hometown Evansville, Indiana) one of the wounded warriors featured in the film, along with producer/director Sabrina Lee and executive producer Steve Platcow (Lake Forest, IL).
The film focuses on five warriors who join retired Marine Colonel Eric Hastings for a week of fly-fishing in Montana. Hastings, who flew missions "high above the death and destruction" in Vietnam, returned home to Montana in 1969 battling dark dreams. His solace was fishing: When I came back from combat, I found I needed relief. And the more I went fly-fishing, the more I knew I needed more of it. It became an absolute desperate physical and mental need. And I had to do it, or I was going to kill someone."
Directors Shasta Grenier and Sabrina Lee shadow Colonel Hastings as he reaches out to a new generation of traumatized combat veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He leads five remarkable, intense, and vulnerable young men (three marines, a soldier and a Navy SEAL) to the quiet waters of Montana. His mission is to help them find their way through the space between the war they have just left behind and the new battles they face. According to Elliott Miller, a Navy SEAL who lost the ability to speak and now communicates with the automated voice of an iPad, "The hardest thing, and this probably goes for just about any wounded warrior out there, is having to learn every little thing all over again. Only this time, where you were once an able, barrel-chested freedom fighter and proud, now you are broken and weak and humble. And so it just adds a whole new level of difficulty to it."
Hastings knows too well that the war is never over for those who fight. On the rivers of Montana, with a fly-rod in hand, he shares the balm that soothed his wounds: "Fly-fishing is a series of opportunities for hope," he says, "This river healed me."
To learn more about the film and its filmmakers, visit the website at www.notyetbeguntofightfilm.com.
Producer/Director Sabrina Lee turned her artistic eye toward documentary filmmaking in 2005 when she saw a sign in a cow pasture reading "Hip-Hop Show Tonight". She was inspired to make Where You From, the award-winning feature-length documentary about rural rap which had a successful festival run and was acquired by indie Pix films in 2009.
Director/Editor Shasta Grenier has a knack for finding stories in mounds of footage. By gratefully and respectfully appropriating stories and regularly losing sleep, Shasta has earned numerous Emmys, CINE Golden Eagle, Telly, and film festival awards. She has an MA in English from the University of British Columbia.
Director of Photography Justin Lubke grew up in a tiny Montana town, made his first film with an indigenous tribe in South India and returned home to graduate from Montana State University with an honors degree in filmmaking. He has worked on non-fiction and fiction films and has directed, shot and edited a variety of programs in topics ranging from grizzly bears to basketball to various commercial spots. His work has appeared on major networks throughout the world. He directed, shot and edited Class C, a feature-length documentary that won multiple film festival awards and two Emmy Awards.
Line Producer Wyatt Nelson has worked in the film, television and commercial industry in New York, Los Angeles and Montana in a variety of roles and has been a crew member of films as Woody Allen's Celebrity, First Daughter, and the television series Will & Grace. He graduated with honors from Montana State University with a BA in film and lives in Montana with his wife and three children.
Original Score/Production Guidance Matthew Buzzell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who holds a BFA in Drama from The University of the North Carolina School of Arts and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. Artists with whom Matthew has collaborated including Sacha Baron Cohen, Diane Krall, Elvis Costello, Patti LaBelle, Lana and Jimmy Scott. Matthew's most recent project, Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man, celebrates the collaborative work of Mel Brooks, and Carl Reiner.
Executive Producer Steve Platcow is Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of RPM Advertising, Inc., a full-service marketing agency headquartered in Chicago, established in 1994.
Executive Producer Harvey C. Gannon is the Chief Executive Officer of Campus Guard, an international provider of PCI DSS compliance services for higher education institutions.
Executive Producer M.J. Hartwig practices law in Montana.
Vimeo link for Not Yet Begun to Fight: https://vimeo.com/47674910
Photos courtesy of Not Yet Begun to Fight.