Actor Woody Harrelson, reporter Stephanie Kaye and director Oren Moverman.
By Stephanie Kaye
An indie film opening this week deals with newly returned veterans and the families of those who are never coming home.
Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson play soldiers in the movie "The Messenger," assigned to a "casualty notification team." Back from duty, the two make their way as if through a minefield, notifying the families of fallen soldiers.
The film is full of tough-guy quips, like "Men don't ask for directions--much less soldiers," to real-life coping techniques. "You never want to park too close. They hear a car park, go to the window, see two soldiers gettin' out...it's just a minute of torture."
Harrelson came to D.C. for an early screening. "We went on a field trip together to Walter Reed and met the soldiers," said Harrelson. Harrelson and director Oren Moverman met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. "What we're trying to do is enter the conversation, not from a political point of view but from a human point of view--and hoping that has some sway in these parts."
Harrelson appreciates his role as both actor and activist, bringing attention to the sacrifices of soldiers and their families in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. "At the end of it, people are thinking about it, people are maybe looking at things a little differently than they did before. That to me is pretty significant."