Ground Truth: Patricia Foulkrod’s Docu

Ground Truth, Patricia Foulkrods documentary, includes exclusive footage that will stir audiences. The filmmaker’s subjects are patriotic young Americans–ordinary men and women who heeded the call for military service in Iraq–as they experience recruitment and training, combat, homecoming, and the struggle to reintegrate with families and communities.

The terrible conflict in Iraq, depicted with ferocious honesty in the film, is a prelude for the even more challenging battles fought by the soldiers returning home–with personal demons, an uncomprehending public, and an indifferent government. As these battles take shape, each soldier becomes a new kind of hero, bearing witness and giving support to other veterans, and learning to fearlessly wield the most powerful weapon of all–the truth.

Directors Statement

This film is not about the right or the left, or about blue or red states. It is about the hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers who have been released by the military after serving in Iraq–and the truth they hope to share with their fellow citizens.

Motivation

I produced and directed The Ground Truth because I felt it was time to stop hiding behind the politics. No one was writing or talking about thousands of invisible injured soldiers, for the most part young men returning to young wives who must now be their caregivers.

It became clear, while filming, that the broken hearts and shattered lives that I was seeing were profound and pervasive whether the soldiers and their families were for or against the Iraq War.

Effects of Killing

I wanted to show how insidious and deep the effects of killing in combat truly are-whether in self-defense or not–so we could create a national dialogue about our consciousness of killing. I also felt I had to capture the aloneness and despair many returning soldiers silently experience when their psychological and physical needs are not recognized or provided for.

Not much has changed since 1946

Those needs for soldiers have not changed since Harold Russell and The Best Years of Our Lives. It is sixty years later, and we need to recognize not only that the U.S. is in very different war circumstances but also that our fighting men–and, now, women–face tremendous challenges back home.

So I tried to create a film that might blow the yellow ribbons off the trees, and encourage people to really wrap their arms around our soldiers and their families. I wanted us to sit with the broken hearts and troubled minds of these young veterans, so we can take responsibility for their suffering that is being experienced in our name.

And most important, I wanted to share with all Americans the profound wisdom these young men and women have to impart. Their first step to healing is our listening.

Patricia Foulkrod’s Career

A New Jersey native, Patricia Foulkrod began her film and television career as an assistant in news and public affairs at WNET-TV, New York Citys PBS flagship station (Channel 13). After working her way up to producing some of the stations programs, she further honed her producing skills on industrial films for such companies as Boeing, Mercedes Benz, Air France, and Disney.

After moving to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, she line-produced the acclaimed 70mm documentary The Living Seas; and produced and directed Theyre Doing My Time, an hourlong PBS documentary about children whose mothers are in prison. She later executive-produced a CBS telefilm adaptation of the latter, entitled Locked Up: A Mothers Rage, which was directed by Bethany Rooney and starred Cheryl Ladd and Angela Bassett; and co-produced the six-hour documentary series The Native Americans, for Turner Broadcasting System.

Ms. Foulkrod has since worked as a producer of independent feature films, among them va Grdos award-winning An American Rhapsody (on which she was also second unit director), starring Scarlett Johansson, Nastassja Kinski, and Tony Goldwyn; Richard Squires Crazy Like a Fox, starring Roger Rees and Mary McDonnell; and Richard Shepards The Linguini Incident, starring Rosanna Arquette and David Bowie.

During the state of Californias recall race in 2005, Ms. Foulkrod served as the Southern California Grassroots Director for Arianna Huffingtons Governmental campaign. She also created Peace on the Beach, an event for which thousands of people came together to form a Picasso aerial image for peace. She has organized additional aerial images (with John Quigley) for Greenpeace, and for homeless war veterans, as part of the Discovery Channels NOW outreach effort.