A group of filmmakers is working to show the other side of military sacrifice, through the stories and eyes of Gold Star Mothers — mothers who have lost their sons or daughters while serving in the armed forces.
Working closely with the Gold Star Mothers organization, producer Ryan MacNamara, director Nick Forte and retired Marine Sergeant Lucien Lafreniere will highlight history of the organization — dating back to 1928 — and delve into the stories of five Gold Star Mothers from completely different geographical locations, backgrounds and political beliefs.
“We are looking to create a meaningful film, something that will further this organization,” Forte said in an interview with The Daily Caller about the film “They Shall Live.”
McNamara added that the top priority is to raise awareness about what it means to be a Gold Star Mother and open Americans’ eyes — especially young people — to the sacrifice that has kept them free.
“Your political views can [be] whatever they are, but at the end of the day, you can’t just let someone’s sacrifice be forgotten, and especially a mother who had no choice in the matter,” MacNamara explained to TheDC.
Watch the introduction to “They Shall Live”:
With a low budget in mind, the Connecticut-based trio has been raising money as a tax-deductible 501c3 to help finalize their project.
“Most Americans are not familiar with Gold Star Mothers or the American Gold Star Mothers organization,” the film website adds. “In addition, there has been virtually no comprehensive film on these women and their role in American history. ‘They Shall Live’ will let their voice be heard.”
The film has received some aid from celebrities associated with and interested in the mission of the Gold Star Mothers. Most recently, actor-director-musician Kevin Costner donated several song licenses to the project, including “The Angels Came Down,” a tune the Gold Star Moms and the Gold Star Wives have adopted.
“We are not selling a celebrity cause, but we have been amazed that people come out of the woodwork like that,” MacNamara explained.
MacNamara, formerly of the Walt Disney Company, added that the hope is to air the final 90-minute documentary on PBS or HBO.
“I think we can do the same things that a lot of the bigger guys do faster and cheaper with regard to production value and quality,” Forte said. “I certainly take pride in what the quality of the documentary is going to look like. It is not going to look like a History Channel special, it is going to be visually striking and dramatic that will give it an appealing edge to young people too.”
They are shooting the film this summer, with a release slated for early 2013.