Sunday, November 30, 2014

Austin Film Festival review: “That Which I Love Destroys Me”

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh

Taking a heavy topic such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could have been delivered in a sledgehammer approach with countless talking heads and statistics. But to director Ric Roman Waugh’s credit, he keeps the focus on two very well-spoken veterans and their very personal struggles with the disorder. Both special operations soldiers, Tyler Grey and Jayson Floyd relate their stories in a powerful and, at times, devastatingly personal manner.

Waugh wisely restrains from sensationalizing their stories or dressing it up with emotional music, as he recognizes the power of the material comes straight from the soldiers’ mouths, as they document their time as active military and the struggles they faced after their time on the battlefield ended.

It’s a well-filmed documentary that doesn’t exploit its subjects even as they both lay bare their soul. It simply provides a tableau on which to share how PTSD can impact people and how help is out there for those willing to seek it.

Waugh, Grey and Floyd were all on hand at the festival screening, as well as a post-film Q&A, and were greeted with well-deserved standing ovations.

Grade: A-

(This film has no rating.)

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