Features – International UK Premiere
Ryan Redford / Canada / 2011 / 82 min / English
A surprise visit from a forgotten comrade is the subject of Ryan Redford’s dark post war drama, Oliver Sherman, shows the pathetic existence of a man irreversibly scarred by war.
When troubled veteran, Sherman Oliver (Garrett Dillahunt) unexpectedly appears at the home of Franklin Page (Donal Logue) who saved his life on the battlefield, he finds that Franklin’s new life of domestic bliss further alienates him from the outside world, and pushes him to commit some shocking acts.
With the spoils, crimes and casualties of war being a common site in the media, and a topic that’s become far-too familiar in film, Oliver Sherman leaves the idea of warfare behind, and instead focuses on the realities of life as a war veteran in an everyday town in contemporary Canada. While this isn’t the first time this feat has been undertaken and accomplished through cinema, Oliver Sherman does stand out as an unusual addition to the war film genre because Redford’s piece chooses not to use gratuitous violence, flashbacks or excessive gore in order to tell the tale of Sherman and his attempts to reintegrate into society. Unlike some of the genre’s most famous titles, such as Rambo and Combat Shock, this film instead focuses on the emotional, as opposed to the physical toll that war leaves on the human psyche. Featuring themes of jealousy, desire, resentment and disconnection, Oliver Sherman is a cutting remark on the loss of identity, of drive and support for veterans across the world. Beautifully shot and highly relevant, Redford’s bleak post-war drama manages to ensnare the audience with strong performances and a believable back story all the while maintaining and ominous sense of danger, menace, and ultimately, tragedy.