Different movies get made for different reasons. In the end, the people who rally around and “will” a film forward, quite simply, like it. For all different reasons of course. In the independent film world we inhabit, there’s a sort of love affair that happens. It’s too hard for it to be anything less than that. The recognition can be slow. The sacrifices are many. But the love of it is the thing.
With HARVEST, we felt strongly about its creative merits and cultural relevance. And now that it’s complete, we’re proud we stayed focused on the mission to make this movie, and to make it now.
As background for those reading and not familiar, HARVEST is about three generations of a family who come together one summer around the eventual passing of the patriarch of the family, a WWII veteran. But it’s not necessarily a sad movie, if you can believe it. The theme of family really defines our film. A family, like so many, that includes closely knit members of the Gen Y, Baby Boomer, and Greatest Generations.
The Greatest Generation is an epic and deserving label coined by Tom Brokaw over a decade ago describing those men and women who grew up during the Great Depression, only to fight in and/or live through WWII. Today, the last of those veterans are dying. Baby boomers are spending their last days with their fathers (and mothers), and families all across America are saying goodbye to its grandfathers (and grandmothers). This movie salutes those men and these families in a simple, elegant way. And so, it’s not hard to see why it’s a meaningful film at an important time.
The recent death of Don Hewitt is a strong public example of the lasting impact of these “regular heroes” who are our final living links to another time. Recently, the NY Times ran a piece about Albert Perdeck, a retired postal worker living in NJ. WWII flashbacks still plague this 84-year old man. He’s on a mission for us to remember August 14th, 1945, or V-J Day, the day Japan surrendered, essentially ending the war. He says last year there was no mention of it on the news. He needs us to remember. And we need to honor men like him. HARVEST doesn’t make grand pronouncements and is not really about the war, but at the heart of this slice-of-life story is a man well into his 80s who ultimately tries to enjoy his last days and make peace with the life he has lived. The war, in a way, is his final reconciliation.
HARVEST isn’t quirky, doesn’t deal with marginalized communities, and is certainly not your high concept Hollywood movie. It’s a story about an American family dealing with some universal themes – relationships, conflict, illness – and dealing with these things with a range of human emotion. Funny enough, in this day and age, a movie that falls in the middle of this spectrum is a rare thing. The authenticity and honesty of HARVEST make it worthwhile – for us, and we hope for you too.