To cultivate his healing from post-traumatic stress disorder, an Army combat veteran starts a farm and explores its potential.

farmer and veteran Alex Sutton holding bird
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
May 29, 2017
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 Brooklyn Film Festival-Best Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival-Best Stories of the South
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 Macon Film Festival-Best of Southern Documentary Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2017 Shanghai Television Festival-Best Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2017 Y'allywood Film Festival-Best Feature
  • Director

    Alix Blair

    Alix Blair is responsible for diverse body of documentary work exploring human rights and environmental issues through both photography and radio production. A recent graduate of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, she documented a group of women living and farming on the edge of a gorilla sanctuary in southwestern Uganda for her Show more Master’s Thesis. Her radio story The Last Morning Was a Sweet One won the 2013 ShortDoc award from the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Show less


    Jeremy M. Lange


    D.L. Anderson

    D.L. Anderson is co-founder of Vittles Films, a film company producing and promoting character-driven documentaries with the mission of “sustenance through storytelling.” After more than a decade as an award-winning documentary and editorial photographer, he began making documentary films as a student at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke Show more University. Past personal work includes Mr. Percy’s Run, a profile of moonshine kingpin and avid fox-hunter Percy Flowers, and Cook School, a behind-the-bars look at the only culinary program for prisoners in North Carolina, produced in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance. Show less

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    The Film

    Home from three combat tours in Iraq, Alex Sutton forges a new identity as a farmer, hatching chicks and raising goats on 43 acres in rural North Carolina. He dives into life on the farm with his new love Jessica, but cannot shake the lingering traumas of war. The stories he tells about his battlefield experiences seem unmoored from reality as he oscillates between states of heightened awareness and “feeling zombified” from a cocktail of prescriptions meant to keep him stable. For the viewer, as for Alex, what to believe about his past is uncertain. The farm becomes a terrain to unearth what is buried, what it really means to be “the perfect soldier," and where to go from here.