Rodney Decroo premiered a new video for his re-release of his single ‘War Torn Man’ on the Georgia Straight.
Read the article from The Georgia Straight here
About the Video:
When we started working Blake and I talked about how to film the content we’d discussed. We didn’t get into the ideas behind them. We’ve been creating long enough to trust our guts. We knew we wanted to work with toy soldiers set up in war tableaux but we weren’t worried about creating a clear narrative. So we threw together what we could using materials we found in Blake’s studio. Then we started lighting shit on fire and filming it.
I guess the general idea for me is that the veteran -or possibly the son of the veteran- is obsessively playing with / filming the toy soldiers arranged in various battle scenes to represent the trauma he’s dealing with. And we see images of the father / son relationship shaped by the father’s war experiences. We also created tableaux of soldiers attacking prefabricated houses that look like the old Vancouver specials. The houses are eventually consumed by the war fire as well which is pretty self explanatory. Well, I think the whole thing is pretty self explanatory. I say that while not wanting to impose too much “meaning” on the video. I want people to experience it for themselves.
I feel that the man is “playing” with the toy soldiers. Kids play in a way that is repetitive. They will play the same scenarios out over and over. PTSD is like that. You revisit the same traumatic experience(s) obsessively. I think the ubiquitous green toy soldier is a playful image many of us associate with our childhoods. Juxtaposing it with violent war imagery highlights how children are trained through play to accept warfare.
I’m the son of a USMC and a Vietnam vet. My father suffered from untreated PTSD caused by the war. Our home was a battle field both metaphorically and literally. The video captures elements of my personal experiences but I wanted to avoid bringing up the Vietnam War in the video. Every war creates thousands upon thousands of deaths, every war destroys families and leaves behind a legacy of trauma.