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Trailer Watch: Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil’s Independent Civil War Drama, Men Go to Battle

Written by Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil, and directed by Treitz, Men Go to Battle is an ambitious independent historical drama that tells the story of two quarreling brothers whose back-and-forth are interrupted by the Civil War. Here’s how the filmmakers synopsize the film, which stars Tim Morton, David Maloney and, from Spring Breakers, Rachel Korine:

While most Americans predict that the Civil War will end by Christmas, Henry (Tim Morton) and Francis Mellon (David Maloney) are more concerned about braving another winter on their struggling rural Kentucky farm. The brothers have become suffocatingly close. Francis’ practical jokes become more and more aggressive until the night he accidentally injures Henry in a drunken fight. Then, after humiliating himself in front of a daughter (Rachel Korine) of the town’s preeminent family, Henry disappears in the night. Only months later does Francis learn that Henry has joined the Union army, and the two are left to find out separately what the approaching war will bring.

Sarah Salovaara interviewed Treitz and Sheil around the time of its Tribeca premiere. Here, Treitz describes convincing the Civil War reenactment community to get behind the film:

One of our first thoughts for how to pull off the feeling of this huge world was to shoot at Civil War reenactments, but we had never been to one. The reenactment community is pretty wary of outsiders, and it took a lot of explaining and convincing until they let us in. Just a few of us would show up, dressed up in 1860s civilian clothes, pretending to be war correspondents, as we followed our actor Tim around for these long weekends. By the end of that first weekend, which was a huge event with thousands of reenactors, several of the soldiers came up to us and told us they hadn’t ever seen a camera crew that was so inconspicuous and respectful, and we went from there.

Men Go to Battle opens July 8 from Film Movement.

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