Abi Damaris Corbin, USA 2022
Filmmaker Abi Damaris Corbin knows all too well the plight of military veterans when promised assistance that doesn't materialize. She grew up observing her father's difficulties with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs; therefore, Abi Damaris Corbin has a sympathetic understanding when things go awry for the military veteran who gives of their life to serve country and man.
Based on a true story, Abi Damaris Corbin directs a narrative of heartbreaking consequences when former U.S. Marine Brian Brown-Easley is left forgotten under the complicated bureaucratic world within the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs supposedly beholden "of their own" in 892. Her directorial expertise is described as, "...with clinical precision, packing every scene with emotional complexity and each frame with relentless tension."
A riveting performance from John Boyega (Brian Brown-Easley) allows the audience to grapple with severe consequences when a kind and loving man is driven to the brink due to unjust circumstances.
Boyega says on building the character, "We knew that PTSD would obviously be a main focus." Abi and Boyega worked to fine tune this aspect. He adds, "We worked out, in general, about the state of people who go out and protect our country then end up being in a situation, or circumstance, in which their mind can't function well; especially, when they're forced back into a world with no support."
For those whom we encounter who have served our country well and yet struggle to fit back into a community they left behind; it's our job to be brave enough to try to walk in their shoes and to help bring them back into the fold appropriately. Unjust treatment from "their tribe" is something they should never have to encounter.
U.S. Marine veteran, Brian Brown-Easley (John Boyega) finds himself in desperate straits when his monthly disability check fails to arrive. He tries to address the situation with the Veteran Affairs office, and the bank, in order to get answers to his questions. He is not asking for anything out of the ordinary, nor anything special, only what is rightfully due him.
Unsatisfied with the lack of assistance, or a proper explanation when a routine transaction fails, his frustration gets the better of him. He reverts to taking matters into his own hands. Brown-Easley is no longer his naturally calm self and heads to his bank. In an overwhelming state of desperation, he commits himself to do the unimaginable...he attempts a bank heist.
The series of events that follow are intense, relatable, and heartbreaking simply from the motivation only for his voice to be heard.