Patriot Guard Riders

Soldier Down, Kickstands Up
Film Length(s)
73 mins
Remote video URL


Patriot Guard Riders takes us on a solemn ride to funerals of soldiers killed in action. Our guides are a 250,000-strong motorcycle group that formed to protect grieving families from harassment by a hate group. The riders escort fallen soldiers from airfield to grave, and form a protective shield of honor and respect. Soldiers are dying and families are suffering. The film reveals an unlikely but powerful bond between the riders, the grieving families and the military. Their stories chronicle a new kind of patriotism in America, where we honor the troops even if we don't believe in the war.

Featured review

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


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.
Dallas-Fort Worth
A powerful image of citizens in action, accomplishing within the law what battalions of lawyers and politicians have failed to do in court, which is to support free speech while sending a message about the limits of what is tolerable.
Philip Grey
Military Times
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”
The 73-minute film offers occasional moments of humor...but more common are images of almost unbearable sadness.
Anne Neville
Buffalo Times
This film is therapeutic for veterans of every generation. We showed it to our American Legion Post and we were each so proud of the contributions we made. There was a lot of discussion after the film. I recommend it for both official vets psychological therapy and support groups as well as more casual screenings where vets gather. Appropriate for libraries at VA hospitals and centers here and in the sandbox.
Joe Carey
Post Commander, American Legion
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
This documentary provides an in-depth look at the Patriot Guard Riders, a nationwide group who serve as a physical and emotional barrier between the loved ones of fallen veterans and the picketers of the Westboro Baptist Church. Regardless of each group's agenda, the film explains how each party is pursuing its own perception of patriotism. This film appeals to the public by exploring the radical ethos of the Westboro Baptist Church, and more importantly gives attention to the work of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Rob Tygett
Acquisitions Librarian, St. Louis Public Library
The Patriot Guard movie is a excellent documentary on one of the greatest and largest movements in the US. The movie promotes discussion of patriotism, doing the right thing, and the bond military brothers and sisters share as a whole. Three of my kids are serving and I am a proud mother, and a proud member of the PGR since June of 06. My oldest son has been deployed 5 times, my middle son once. During these deployments, the support I received from my PGR brothers and sisters is immeasurable. I could go on and on about why the this film is a must see, and why everyone should experience standing in the flag line of the PGR.
Tara Patrick
mother of 2 deployed soldiers, web post

Awards and Screenings

Festival Favorite, Louisville International Film Festival, 2011
Special Jury Citation, Oxford Film Festival, 2012
Jury Award - Best Documentary, Asheville Cinema Festival, 2011
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, 2011
Santa Rosa Film Festival, 2012
GI Film Festival, Washington, D.C., 2012
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, 2012
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2012
Beloit International Film Festival, 2012
Port Townsend Film Festival, 2012
Many more Festivals and Screenings throughout the United States

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Subtitles

Film/Audio Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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