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Film Fest Special

"Fort McCoy" a joy to watch: Savannah Film Festival [REVIEW]


Sunday afternoon of the Savannah Film Festival hosted two captivating films, “Trotteur,” a short, followed by feature film “Fort McCoy.”

“Trotteur” [rating:3.5/5]

“Trotteur,” a visually breathtaking film telling the story of a young man’s race against a train, was beautifully shot and directed.

Sadly, the storyline wasn’t as spectacular.

Even though each shot was enjoyable on an aesthetic level, when the film changed pace to show the back story of Le Trotteur, our protagonist, the audience was left wanting more. The story to failed elaborate on what made him feel like racing a train. Most of the explanation was left in Kyle Gatehouse’s (Le Troutter’s) hands.

Gatehouse played the role very well. There was almost no dialogue throughout the short film (8 min.), so it was even more impressive that the actor was able to convey such powerful emotions without words.


“Fort McCoy” [rating:4.5/5]

FortMcCoycardThe Stirn family gains new and life changing experiences when they stay at Fort McCoy.

Based on the true story of director Kate Connor’s ascendants, “Fort McCoy” speaks on the subject of the U.S. prisoner-of-war camps during WWII in the summer of 1944. This movie was fantastic from beginning to end — it was well directed, well written and the acting was spectacular. Gara Lonni, who played Gertie Stirn, did an amazing job developing idiosyncrasies that on one side made her character unique, on the other, relatable. This description also goes for many of the other characters.

The only problem with the film was a lot of story and, within the confines of the run time, not enough time to tell it. During the Q&A, the director mentioned that the actual story took place over a period of six years rather than one summer.

It shows.

Not that this is a major criticism against the movie — but some issues, small as they may be, weren’t addressed by the resolution.

On the flip side, this criticism could be seen as a compliment, as most important issues in life don’t wrap up in one summer.


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