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‘Sandcastle’ was difficult to film for the war veteran scriptwriter

Sand Castle

(Nick Wall Photography)

When the War in Iraq Veteran and Pat Tillman military scholar Chris Roessner went on to write his debut screenplay “sand castle,” he wanted it to be personal and to reflect the slightly more than 12 months he worked in Iraq.

Most of the films about the war are mission focused, on take a hill, or a village, or the capture of the enemy troops. Roessner, the film is also mission oriented, but it is a different kind of mission.

“I wanted to talk about how it feels to be a young man or woman in the war and how it feels to have the local population [with you] to be successful,” he told Fox News.

In the early days of the second gulf war, “Sand Castle” is the story of an inexperienced Private Matt ocre (Nicholas Hoult), whose unit is ordered to the outskirts of Baqubah to repair a water pumping station damaged by AMERICAN bombs. But if ocre soon discovers, the win of the local population, is a job fraught with danger and extreme frustration.

Ocre the war experience, many of Roessner, is dependent on his ability to work with the Iraqi people, and he quickly discovers that if the locals were willing to help, they paid a high price for it.

“Not by us, but by the insurgents,” Roessner explained. “They were killed for helping us, and they were well aware of that. That is not something that we realized immediately. We learned it quickly, but the price that people pay for the help of us, it was very, very high.”

Although “sand castle,” filmed in Jordan, not Iraq, it was still emotional abuse for Roessner to look back on certain aspects of his time in the war zone, especially the scenes where they were filming the death of people that are already friends.

“I was surprised to find that, even if I’d lived with the script for seven years, watching it happen, that I really wanted to change it,” Roessner said. “I really wanted to happen differently, and that feeling was surprising and overwhelming. But ultimately, if I changed, I think I would do a disservice to the people who I have served alongside. It was much to important for me that I stay true to those moments, but it was very, very difficult.”

Another way Roessner, who knew he wanted to be a filmmaker before he joined the army, but could not afford the tuition fees, remained faithful to his experience, it was by referring to a diary that he kept during his tour in Iraq.

“I came back from Iraq when I was 20 and I said, ‘What is fascinating about the war is that if you are a 19-year-old boy from Arkansas with a GED, war leads you to be a philosopher,’ and that is absolutely true.”

An example of a scene is reconstructed on the basis of his diary is a meeting in which one of the men in his unit tells ocre that there is a bullet out there for everyone.”

“It is something that was discussed, but it does not mean that we talked all the time — absolutely not,” Roessner recalled. “And indeed, they don’t talk like that in the movie the whole time, but my journal is filled with small pieces of dialogue of the things that people say to me. They were not going to be philosophical at times. But I have the wisdom. It has never left me, obviously, because that made the film a decade later. You’d be surprised how intelligent people get when the bullet flies.”

“Sand Castle”, starring Henry Cavill, Glen Powell, Logan Marshall-Green, Neil Brown Jr. and Beau Knapp, premieres on Netflix on April 21.
 

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