Director Ric Roman Waugh has found the rare issue that can unite Democrats and Republicans: veterans. The director of socially conscious films such as “Snitch” and “Felon” has made a documentary about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder called,”That Which I Love Destroys Me.”
Waugh tracked a pair of Special Operations soldiers for five years as they struggled with a trauma more combative than anything they faced during active duty.
“This documentary is not pro-military, it’s not anti-military, it’s literally from the warriors’ perspective,” Waugh told TheWrap. “I don’t put a face on any scandal, but tell a story form the perspective of what they went through and how far they fell into the abyss.”
Congressmen Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Beto O’Rourke, a Texan Democrat, will co-host a screening on July 10 at the US Capitol. Waugh aims to host special screenings in big military cities across the country, inviting families, the military and the press to build support for a broader theatrical release.
“We’re not putting this in two arthouse theaters,” Waugh insisted. The stunt man-turned-director believes his movie will stand out because of its unique approach to the subject of PTSD and his access to soldiers who typically remain silent. He first met Tyler Grey and Jayson Floyd after he made “Felon,” a film that inspected prison life.
Grey and Floyd had served at one of the first American outposts in Afghanistan, and relayed a story about a speech they gave a few years prior. Speaking to fellow soldiers, they described their own experience of hitting rock bottom.
The military has stigmatized asking for help, but soldiers responded well to Floyd and Grey’s candor. One even admitted contemplating suicide.
The possibility of doing the same with one of his movies hooked Waugh.
“We had no idea where we were going … no script, no start, it was just go,” Waugh said. “We don’t want this to be talking heads — military advisers and doctors.
“We’re talking about the tip of the spear — quiet professionals who don’t talk about anything.”