To date, over 16,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. Although the media often reports on the bravery of wounded soldiers or the tragedy they endured, few reporters ask the question: "What becomes of them now?" In this intimate documentary, director Richard Hankin sheds light on this question. Hankin focuses exclusively on Jeremy Feldbusch, a former army ranger who is valiantly struggling to navigate through life as a blind and partially brain-damaged veteran. When Feldbusch was deployed to Iraq in 2003, he was a confident and charismatic 21-year-old with a wrestler's build and marksmanship skills that any sergeant would be proud of. Less than four months later, a piece of shrapnel flew into his goggles and embedded itself in his frontal lobe, leaving him blind and incapacitated on a hospital bed. Now in stable condition, Feldbusch is attempting to live a normal existence at his family's home and at their expense, without the military's financial support. His mother, who gave up her job the day after she received word of his accident, acts as Feldbusch's eyes. His father, an intense and burly man, plays a role that falls somewhere between military commander and motivational coach. With his family providing constant support, we see Feldbusch ski, chop down a spruce, shoot a deer, and lobby Congress to introduce the Wounded Warrior Bill. His journey from a depressed, wounded man to that of an empowered blind veteran is a moving testament to humankind's resilience. By turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Home Front guides us through Feldbusch's blind journey. This film is presented in conjunction with the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.
Richard Hankin has worked on numerous documentaries, including the award-winning Capturing the Friedmans. That documentary, which Hankin coproduced and edited, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and an Emmy™. Capturing the Friedmans was also nominated for both an Academy Award® and an American Cinema Editor's Award. He was the Supervising Editor on 2005's Romantico and Show Business, as well as the editor on HBO's Peabody Award-winning Cancer: Evolution to Revolution, the Emmy™-nominated New York: A Documentary Film, and Ken Burns' The West. Hankin has served as a Creative Advisor for the Sundance Institute's Documentary Editing and Storytelling Lab. He is the founder of Looking Glass Film, an independent production company.