Given May is National Military Appreciation Month I thought this week would be the perfect time to talk about the most moving and patriotic film I’ve seen this year.
While attending the 2011 Sedona International Film Festival I had the great pleasure of viewing several excellent films but none more inspiring or deeply affecting as director Jonathan Flora’s Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good.
At first blush Flora’s documentary is a simple, nicely structured chronicle of muti-talented actor/ musician Gary Sinise and his gifted band mates on their seemingly never-ending USO tour but, as the film unfolds, it quickly becomes clear this movie is about something much more than just Sinise’s band on the run.
At it’s heart, Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good is about America and our relationship with the brave men and women of our armed forces. It is, in many ways, a celebration and tribute to the best of our best and, to the filmmaker’s great credit, it’s all presented in a completely non-partisan way, honestly and free of bravado or jingoism.
Flora’s documentary provides a rare glimpse at the inner workings of Sinise’s heart-felt commitment to our troops as we follow the actor/ musician and his band to several military bases around the world. The behind-the- scenes look at how a USO tour is put together is as enlightening as it is fun and, with interviews of the soldiers and military personnel interspersed, Flora does an excellent job of showing us the “how” without ever losing sight of the “why”.
Oh, and did I happen to mention- thank’s to Gary and his accomplished collection of musicians- the movie also happens to ROCK?! Seriously, at times, this is one helluva concert flick and really has me hoping I’ll get a chance to see Sinise and his band live at some point. Should the opportunity ever present itself, I can assure you I will!
At a time when it seems there’s a new super hero flick invading our multiplexes every other weekend, Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good shines a welcome spotlight on the true heroes of our very real and often dangerous world. They don’t come from the planet Krypton or Gotham City, but rather Illinois, Ohio, Texas and Arizona. They are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins and neighbors and they deserve to be remembered and celebrated more often than simply on our designated national holidays.
It should be noted both the director Jonathan Flora and Gary Sinise were awarded the Sedona International Film Festival’s Humanitarian Film Award for Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good. From the audience reaction at the screening I attended, it was an easy and much deserved win for the filmmakers.
So, when do you all get to see it? Well, the big news is, this flick will be available to watch in the comfort and privacy of your own homes beginning on July 4th! By logging onto LtDanBandMovie.com you’ll be able to stream the movie and one of out of every four dollars will be donated to organizations that support the military and their families such as the USO, Snowball Express, Operation International Children and more. For more information and all the latest news be sure to visit LtDanBandMovie.com!