Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bastards' Road (2020) Santa Barbara Film Festival 2020 and Slamdance 2020

BASTARDS' ROAD follows Jon Hancock as he walks across America seeking to reconnect with the men he served with in 2/4 Marines in the hope of healing both himself and his friends of the trauma that they have suffered by the things that they experienced in the Middle East.

Before seeing BASTARDS' ROAD I was certain that the last thing we needed was another film about a vet walking across America to heal himself and others, but then I started the film and by the two minute mark as Hancock was talking while lighting a fire I was hooked. Not long after I realized that not only do we need this film, but that this is maybe one of the best films of 2020.

I am not going to do a great deal of talking about what happens in this film, not because I don’t have a great deal to say, but rather you need to meet Hancock and the 2/4 Marines for yourself. That the film works as well as it does is entirely due to Hancock and what he has to say and how he interacts with his fellow vets. He is not only a born storyteller but also a wonderful philosopher. He perfectly explains what he is feeling and why. He explains to us what happened and how it affected him and more importantly he draws out the people he encounters. Anyone spending time with him seems to open up and begins to heal. It’s a stunning achievement.

I am in true awe of this film. In all seriousness I started the film and I got about five minutes in and I had to stop the film and restart it because I thought the film had jumped to the middle. The film felt like I had been with Hancock for longer than just a couple of minutes. I was certain I couldn’t feel like I had known someone for a long time minutes after meeting him. I was wrong, I had instantly connected and the film was just getting going.

Whether you have an interest in Hancock and his journey or not you need to see this film. It is a film that will get under your skin and become part of you. More importantly it will alter the way you think.

Highly recommended.

The film just premiered at the Santa Barbra Film Festival (It plays again tomorrow) and it will play Slamdance on January 26 and 30th. (Information here)


  1. Yesterday, my husband chose this film for us to see at the SBIFF, and I am so grateful that he did. I have never been so deeply moved by a film in my life.

    Jon Hancock takes us on his journey across America as he reconnects with his friends and their loved ones with whom he fought in Iraq. The experience of each man's journey as they return from Iraq is eye opening for those of us who safely sat at home.

    While each man deals with their memories in their own way, the connection between these "brothers" is something only those who have served can really understand. This film allows us a glimpse into what life is like for those returning from war.

    Everyone who was involved in this film, from director to editor to those who chose the music, did an amazing job, but it is Mr. Hancock who draws us in. He has an ability to get those around him to open up and tell their stories and his complete honesty helps the audience connect with the film in a unique way.

    This is a movie that will stay with me forever. In fact, when I woke this morning I was still so moved I contacted an organization that supports veterans and volunteered. It really is THAT moving.

    1. Thank You for your kind words and the actions you are taking to make a difference for our Veterans and their families. Truly is an INCREDIBLE story -- I will be sure to share it with the crew!

  2. I have a great respect for our armed forces, although I never served in the military. This film pulled me in and made me feel like I understand better what our men and women encounter.