How many of us understand what deployed troops experience? Striking a Chord is a 38-minute documentary offering a window on their world, where soldiers maneuver between constant threat and crushing boredom. It’s also a look at how music can provide some relief and a return, however brief, to normalcy.
The spine of the film is singer-songwriter Nell Bryden’s tour of American bases in Iraq. As Bryden and her band travel from gig to gig, we see firsthand the joy and comfort their music brings the troops serving there. Nell writes: "Never has music been a more obvious entry to the soul than on my trips to play for the troops."
The backdrop of Striking a Chord is the somber reality of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and its devastating and isolating effects. At least 20 percent of soldiers will return from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. Striking a Chord reminds us that when our soldiers return home, they need special care and attention; PTSD is a disorder that many veterans are ashamed to speak about. Yet it’s all too common, and, as the film shows, music can provide a way to begin the healing process.