In 2018, rising political star Jason Kander abruptly withdrew from the Kansas City mayoral race as the front-runner. Kander, a veteran who spent time as an army intelligence officer in Afghanistan, said he plans to seek treatment for PTSD and depression.
In “Here,” he recalls an inner battle that has been swirling within him for over a decade. teeth. Better.” is a documentary that follows four of his veterans, each undergoing a different form of his PTSD treatment. Kander is the film’s most compelling subject, and thus he most clearly demonstrates one of the film’s main points. People who suffer from PTSD are often fighting a war that is invisible to the public and to the victims themselves. They have trouble believing they need or need help.
In fact, even seeing the subject of this film portray and confront a terrifying event, there’s something painfully quiet about what that trauma looks like from the outside. There are no breakups, no over-the-top stories, no intensely dramatic moments (aside from the intuitive scene at the hockey game, the film suffers from over-editing). Instead, this documentary, directed by Jack Youngelsson, is about the slow, arduous process of reaching out each day, opening your heart, and ultimately finding a ray of hope.
In this sense, Youngelson’s films are formally unspectacular, and don’t necessarily pack the most flashy emotional turmoil. But these traits may make the veterans’ lives, both tragic and quietly courageous, more loyal.
here. teeth. Better.
Unrated. Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes. at the theater.