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"News & Notes: "Brats" comes home to AFF"
May 31, 2006
Army Brats featured in new documentary
Brats: Our Journey Home documents reminiscences of the growing-up experiences of
children of American military personnel-the infamous and eponymous "brats"-who have at times
struggled to fit into an America with which they have little in common. Donna Musil, the
film's writer and director and an Army brat herself, came upon the idea for her film in 1998.
"I became interested in doing a documentary on military kids after attending an impromptu
reunion of some Taegu, Korea, classmates in Washington, DC," she said. "I lived in Taegu from
'73 to '75, and our 9th grade class had around ten people, total.
"For the first time in 20 years, I felt like I belonged somewhere-I fit in."
Kris Kristofferson, an Air Force brat, narrates the film, which features interviews with
other notable military offspring, including General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
Even without traditional funding, Musil was able to enlist the help of many to complete the
film-many of the crew were military brats themselves. "The most challenging aspect of
completing this film was...sticking with it. As any brat knows, commitment is not our
greatest strength, and this was a difficult film to make," Musil said.
"It took over six years. But I'm a better person for having finished it...and it seems to be
helping a lot of people. So I'm glad I stuck with it."
The film has been selected for screening at several other film festivals in addition to the
Atlanta Film Festival.
Although this is the first feature film that Musil has directed, she has written a variety
of scripts-including Ananse, a children's animated film based on African folktales which is
currently in development, as well as Rebuilding America's Communities, a Carter Center
documentary about inner-city poverty.
Musil currently makes her home in Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia where she earned
a B.A. in journalism 1981 and a law degree in '85.
Brats: Our Journey Home will screen June 15th, at 5:30, at Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema.
Martin Kelley is Editor-in-Chief of CinemATL.com. He's also a local screenwriter and filmmaker who
co-founded and became co-president of the Atlanta Screenwriters Group, one of the largest screenwriter
organizations in the Southeast.