Patriot Guard Ridersby Ellen Frick
Soldier Down, Kickstands UpWatch Trailer
Patriot Guard Riders takes us on a solemn ride to funerals of young soldiers killed in action. Our guides are a 200,000-strong motorcycle group formed to protect grieving families from members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who harass them for allowing their sons and daughters to serve. The riders escort the the fallen soldiers from the airfield to the burial grounds, where they form a protective shield of honor and respect.
The film underscores a tragic truth: Soldiers are dying and their families are suffering. It reveals an unlikely but powerful bond between the riders, the grieving families and the military. Their poignant stories chronicle the emergence of a new kind of patriotism in America, where we honor the troops even if we don't believe in the war.
Recommended as a teaching tool for courses in:
Psychology / Mental Health
War and Peace Studies
An incredibly powerful film that deeply examines the usually untold legacy of war -- the families of fallen soldiers. Director Frick bravely uncovers these family stories, resulting in a moving story about the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of military veterans and the challenge of the limits of the First Amendment.
Jay Rosenstein, Prof. of Media and Journalism, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
A fascinating ride through a dark and quirky corner of American culture, where a crew of rough and burly riders confront religious intolerance head on.
Paco de Onis, Producer “Witness to War”,”State of Fear”, and “The Rekoning”
America's wars in the Middle East, and their effect on the home front, have sparked a powerful new documentary…Some are calling it the most important documentary of the year.
KDFW News, Dallas-Fort Worth
This is the most important documentary of the year. Frick has captured the strong, enduring sentiment of the Patriot Guard Riders, that every fallen soldier is our hero. And every hero deserves our highest respect and dignity.
Mayor Joe Jaworsky, Galveston, TX
The 73-minute film offers occasional moments of humor...but more common are images of almost unbearable sadness.
AWARDS & SCREENINGS:
- Ashville Film Festival--Jury Award for Best Documentary
- Louisville Film Festival--Ride and Screening to Churchill Downs., Winner Best in Fest Audience Award
- Oxford Film Festival--Special Commendation
- Port Townsend Film Festival--Special Event: Motorcycle Parade, pre-screening dinner and post-screening reception at American Leg
- Kosovo--U.S. Army Posts and other military facilities
- U.S. Army Posts, Afghanistan and Iraq
- Kuwait--U.S. Army Posts and other military facilities
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Mesa, AZ
- Knoxville, TN
- Evansville, Indiana--Premier for film participants. Party following screening for Riders and press.
- Houston, Texas--3 Screenings with Motorcycle Processions and Guest Speakers. "Honorary Ride Captain of SE Texas" Award to Direct
- Fort Worth, Texas--Motorcycle Procession for David Bell
- Global Peace Film Festival--3 Screenings with Motorcycle Processions
- Buffalo, NY--Motorcycle Procession by Western New York Patriot Guard Riders and honorary dinner
- Hot Springs Documentary FIlm Festival
- Moody Gardens, Galveston TX--Motorcycle Procession Ride and IMAX Screening
- Sebastopol Film Festival--Motorcycle Procession from Bay Area and Central California Riders
Visit the official website for Patriot Guard Riders