American daily life in Landstuhl, Germany: Wounded U.S. soldiers receive medical treatment at the military hospital of the U.S. Base. They and their relatives find a home away from home at the so called “Fisher House” between the treatment processes. Here they try to find a way back to normal life. German and American spouses who fear to lose their husbands. Returning soldiers who question their mission yet continue. A German-American life takes place behind high fences inside the huge compound, military area for seven decades. All, Germans and Americans have one thing in common: The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa have left marks that everyone has to deal with alone.
Its soundtrack reverberates with all the accents of deepest America, its music borrows from the oppressive atmosphere of American war films. But this takes place in Palatinat, in the depths of provincial Germany. The biggest US military hospital outside the United States, built right next to the huge Ramstein Air Base opens its doors just a crack for a film student for her graduation film. Admittedly, we imagine, only if she’s willing to make certain concessions. But these concessions don’t stop us from finding out how this little-known human microcosm works, set well apart from the rest of the world despite being located on our doorstep. And between the lines, between physio sessions, the distribution of medals and teddy bears, the Sunday gospel mass and the arrival of the wounded from the front, Astrid Schult manages to capture the atmosphere in this place marked by death, and reveal the beliefs, moods and traumatisms of the men and women who, small cogs in a well-oiled war machine, pay with their flesh the price of whatever geopolitical games are currently being played.
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