Little Troopers chronicles the struggles and everyday heroism of five American military families in Texas, revealing the new generation of American children who have only known America at war.
Little Troopers chronicles the lives of four American military families in Texas. We enter four kids’ lives during a musical theater camp in August 2010 as they rehearse and perform a production ofThe Wizard of Oz which is telecast live via satellite to their parents serving overseas. The play and it’s broadcast serve as a point of entry into the lives of our military families; lives characterized by separation that is compensated for with the virtual intimacy of Facebook, Skype, e-mail and text messaging. We film them over the course of 2 years and experience the inevitable obstacles to maintaining the strength of the family unit while physically apart—as one father redeploys, and another family’s mother returns home. Experiencing the children grow over time, we realize that the modern experience of war is completely different from that of past generations. Ultimately we come to understand how America’s wars have influenced the identities of our youth and how advances in telecommunications and social networking have changed the very experience of war.
From lectures, discussion and praise, to the minutia of the organizer’s daily preparations, Father School documents the emotional “gender boot camp” conference aimed at teaching men to become more loving, in-touch parents. Father School raises questions about fatherhood, family, and spirituality that every family can benefit from asking.
The Korean community believes it has found a way to fix the family from the inside out. Coined by the New York Times “The Korean Dads’ 12-Step Program,” the Korean Father School movement aims to enable fathers to heal toxic family relationships by becoming more emotionally connected. Inspired by the growing national epidemic of abusive, ineffective and absentee fathers during the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1995, the program was initiated by Duranno Bible College in Seoul, South Korea. Using the Christian concept of God the Father, Father School aims to transform its students from detached, authoritarian parents and husbands into loving, family men in touch with their emotions. The participants range in age from early twenties to late seventies. Some are newly engaged and some newly divorced. Some have several children and some have none. Regardless, the program’s message remains consistent: “Strong father, strong family!”
Father School, which is currently in development, will be a feature-length documentary chronicling the Duranno Father School process and model. With an observational style and intimate footage, the film will document the four-day program, concentrating on the individual experiences of the participants, volunteers, church leaders and organizers, capturing the Father School movement as it expands beyond the Korean community and into American culture at large. The film will be structured to reflect the format of the program itself, revolving around the rhythms of Father School in order to offer the viewer an experiential understanding of the movement.