In Our Name, Dir. Brian Welsh (2010)

Rating: 6/10

This highly-researched feature debut  from British director Brian Welsh examines the effects of post-traumatic stress on female soldier Suzy (Joanne Froggatt). When Suzy returns home to Newcastle to rejoin her husband Mark  (Mel Raido), also a soldier, and eight year-old daughter Cass (Chloe Jayne Wilkinson) after having served a tour of duty  in Iraq, she struggles to adjust to civilian life and her family notice how distant she is. This particularly frustrates Mark (an alpha-male if there ever was one) who begins to suspect that Suzy has cheated on him with Paul (Andrew Knott), a soldier in her company, when she refuses to have sex with him.

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Interview with director Brian Welsh

This was meant to be for Little White Lies’ website  but it doesn’t seem they’ve published it yet (annoyingly) so thought I’d post it here as well:

Brian Welsh started off working in Glasgow as an editor on social documentaries, and then trained as an editor at The National Film and Television School. He wrote and directed his first micro-budget feature film Kin-about a guy who is separated from his family and is looked after by a care worker-between projects. His second feature In Our Name explores the plight of a female soldier Suzy, who returns home to her family mentally scarred from what she has witnessed during her time in Iraq.

Did working on documentaries  with social issues, did this inform the way you conceived of In Our Name?

I worked up in Glasgow as an editor with a company called Autonomi cutting a lot of films about things that were going on in the city, like we made a film [Good Cop] about a Race Relations copper and gang fighting problems. The film’s [also] about the Choker murder inquiry which was Glasgow’s Stephen Lawrence, if you like, with this young Sikh guy being killed. I’ve always been interested in films and stories about real people as opposed to mindless escapism, you know, cinema that really has something to say about the world around us and society. So that was my editing background and that overspilled into the stories I wanted to tell when it came to writing my own scripts.

How difficult was it to make that transition from editing documentaries to directing a feature film?

I was very fortunate, because I’d studied editing at The National Film School and the types of films or projects that I was excited about becoming involved in- the main reason for coming down there- weren’t really materialising. So I decided that given the fact that I had all of these resources and all of these very talented people I met, that it would be  a great idea to try my hand at directing something that I wanted to talk about. So I made a really low-budget film there, and luckily that was seen by Artificial Eye, and then they asked me if I’d like to submit a script for this new scheme that they were running, and that was In Our Name.

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