Directed by Melissa Howden
Features the voice of Peter Coyote as the Grandfather
Tumbleweeds roll timelessly across a New Mexico landscape in this visually and emotionally compelling family story of an Episcopalian priest who went off to World War II and never returned, but whose legacy resonates still. In 1941, filmmaker Melissa Howden’s grandfather volunteered to serve as chaplain for troops leaving for the Philippines. Frederick, known as Ted, wrote letters to his wife and young sons chronicling his journey, all signed “be home soon.” But Ted–voiced in the film by Peter Coyote–did not come home. His family later discovered he had survived the notorious Bataan Death March but succumbed to illness and malnutrition months later. Now his granddaughter excavates family lore in a search for understanding, retracing Ted’s journey and coming to terms with the faith and principles that drove him while piecing together the missing parts of her heritage. This lyrical testament touches a universal nerve in its exploration of war and devotion, love and loss, family myth and patrimony.
Film Note Writer: Zoë Elton