Director: Sharon Wilharm
Producer: Fred Wilharm
Review Author: Adam Monks
Absolutely delighted to have another spotlight in the through inbox this month. A gripping drama, set by title, in the Summer of ’67. Many thanks to one of our previous spotlight articles for sending us their work.
It’s always hard entering into a spotlight objectively as it’s nearly impossible to avoid information about the film at some stage during the process, we like to watch it with no knowledge at all if possible. Films with as many accolades as this make it particularly hard. To date, Summer of ’67 has cleaned up at the Great Lakes Christian Film Festival, winning best writer, the Mid Tenn Film Festival 2018 with best actress and a tonne of other honourable mentions.
So let’s get into it. At it’s most basic, the premise is an exploration of how some young lives are affected by the turbulent times in the 1960s. A gripping drama unfolds in front of us here in the form of a heartbreak tale, serious and dark conundrums for young couples during a wartime and the less glamorous side of the war back home that a lot of films tend to shy away from. It really pulls you in
Young wife and mother Milly (Rachel Schrey) is forced to live with her mother-in-law (Mimi Sagadin) while her husband Gerald (Cameron Gilliam) is away on the USS Forrestal fighting in the Vietnam War.
Aside from the more obvious things a film set in the 60’s has to get right, there’s also an incredible amount of detail paid to the set design, even the mise en scene has a layout that echoes the simpler production of films from that genre. The set design, production, costumes, and music all come together incredibly well, elevating ‘a story set in the 60’s’ to an all-encompassing period drama. Accurate down to the last button.
An element that I didn’t really pick up on until a second watch is the deeper insight that this film anchors itself around. And that’s a gritty and realistic slap in the face to all of the other set pieces about the war. A lot of romance based films show this as a simpler time, the world of the past in films is typically shown as very basic, happy-go-lucky and straightforward. Summer of 67′ goes much further into reality, showing us a world not so simple and far more polarizing and complex than our time now in a lot of ways.
Our generation doesn’t have a Vietnam war, we have complex social issues, and we are absolute snowflakes because of this. But this film lets us see how every generation has had its horrible problems and something that will define it for future storytellers. After watching this I wondered what the Vietnam War will be for films about our time being told in 2060.
In any instance, this is a heavy film, well worth a watch. Looking forward to seeing more from these guys.
Peace. Join the discussion over on Twitter with us @ReelTimeFlicks.