Recently I had the opportunity to cross two items off of my bucket list. The first was to watch a movie at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and the second was to watch a movie at the TIFF Lightbox. Though I’m not a movie buff, being a Torontonian, I’ve always felt attending the TIFF Festival is something a person from the GTA should do at least once in their lifetime. However, what I didn’t expect was the rude awakening I would receive by watching the 108 minute masterpiece that is Kilo Two Bravo.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I don’t know anyone in the armed forced, and so I’ve never been able to understand a service man or woman’s journey/experience. In grade school, we read about the sacrifices service men and women have made and continue to make for us. And on November 11th, we dutifully participate in a moment of silence to pay our respects to them. However, after watching Kilo Two Bravo, I realize that we don’t give our servicemen and women a tenth of the respect they deserve.
Perhaps, I should backtrack a little and explain the plot line of the movie. Kilo Two Bravo is based on a true story and is about a contingent of soldiers who find themselves trapped in a live minefield. Over a period of 5 hours, soldiers are severely injured. However, they are resilient and refuse to give up on the hope that help will come.
Watching this movie, I started to understand the strength in the troops comradery, and started to understand the reality that many servicemen and women face every day. Once the movie ended, I found myself feeling frustrated by the state of veteran affairs and support for servicemen and women in this country.
I have the opportunity to experience the exceptional life that I do because someone somewhere made the decision to sacrifice his/her life for me. However, my naivety in veteran’s issues created an invisible blockade that prevented me from fighting for their lives upon their return from duty. I am failing those who make the ultimate sacrifice for me because I expect someone else to educate me on the topic? The more I analyze my behavior, the more I realize that I need to fix it. I need to pay attention to veteran’s issues and proactively learn more about them.
I am truly grateful to the writers, producers, actors and director for creating this movie because it was definitely an awakening that I needed to have.