One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Alexandre Moors’ The Yellow Birds. Based on the acclaimed 2012 novel by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers, the film was adapted by David Lowery and R.F.I. Porto and follows a group of soldiers before, during and after deployment. The film does this by constantly changing the time frame of the story as you try and figure out what happened during the deployment. At some points you’re on the front lines and then a moment later you’re watching one of the soldiers at home dealing with the repercussions of war. Here’s the synopsis from Sundance:
Twenty-one-year-old Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and 18-year-old Murph (Tye Sheridan) become fast friends in army training before shipping off to fight insurgents in Iraq. Taken under the wing of a hot-headed sergeant (Jack Huston), they wander into the fog of war, but Murph never comes back. Bartle returns home with the secrets of Murph’s disappearance held close to his aching chest, while a shrewd military investigator (Jason Patric) and Murph’s anguished mom (Jennifer Aniston) demand answers.
Shortly after the premiere I sat down with Jack Huston, Tye Sheridan and director Alexandre Moors. They talked about the motivation behind the narrative structure, what the film is about and details on their characters, if they looked to previous war films as inspiration, the demands of their boot camp training and how it was a bonding experience, and more.
In addition, towards the end of the interview, you can also watch us play a game I call “Get to Know Your Sundance Attendee,” which asks tough questions like drink of choice, how long can you go without looking at your phone, what’s the last TV show you’ve watched that you want to recommend, what do you collect, favorite websites, and a lot more.