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Republic of Vietnam, location: near Ho Chi Minh City
Bornhoft Farms, our main location near Harrisburg, Arkansas

  “In Country” is a term used by Americans who served in the military in Vietnam during what is now called "The American War."   When their tour was finished they would state that they were “returning to the world.” 

 

The prospect of a same sex couple being professional, patriotic soldiers seems somehow alien for those times & even now for many in the United States.  Yet homosexual people are and have been a reality serving in our armed forces... this has been true of all of America’s wars since the American Revolution & throughout all of our numerous military conflicts.

 

The contribution  of thousands of gay & lesbian veterans in and out of combat during the Vietnam War Era has not been acknowledged as these men and women kept their sexual orientation hidden to avoid persecution, prosecution, discharge, and often violence from fellow soldiers. Denial of their contribution served the greater culture’s belief that gay people could not, would not, and should not fight for their country. Our goal is for the audience to acknowledge these men & women as "real" soldiers, honorable soldiers,  individuals who served their country during this unpopular war, one that we Americans never won. 

 

Yet this war and the contribution of straight & gay soldiers alike gave the Russians pause to think we might fight if they invaded Europe, which they threatened to do at that time. This also forced the Chinese to think twice about invading India. The intent of this film is to create a realistic live action war film in the midst of a love affair between two men. Men who must face America’s conflicted view of sexuality as well as its two mindedness about how to fight war.

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Photos from "Behind the Scenes" 
LOVE IN COUNTRY poster

Cliffford Yarbrough, MAJ (USA, Retired), see "Cast & Crew"

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What About Mercy?  "Doc" (actor Robert M. O'Brien) asks the critical  question about this never ending war

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Former Prime Minister, Vice President Nguyen Cao Key
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Our principal filming location in Fischer, AR

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President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

Filming Locations

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Bornhoft Rice Fields, set near Harrisburg, Arkansas
South Vietnam,1968
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THE QUONSET HUT, Bornhoft Farm, Fischer, AR. This site became our medical unit

L-R  Jon Owens, Michael Southworth, Elijah Olachea & David Garter-4 of our 6 lead actors in  Dress Rehearsal

Much of the Love In Country movie was filmed in  

Harrisburg, Ft. Smith & Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Several scenes were photographed near Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), in Vietnam.

 

We thank the cooperation of many of Arkansas's generous locales and the Harrisburg City Counsel, heartfelt thanks to the city's Economic Development Director Nakole Sweeney.  The "home" location for this feature was the Bornhoft Farm in Fisher, Arkansas.  The site is just outside Harrisburg, filmed on the farm near Ditch #15.

The Fayetteville location was at Drake Airfield. Thank you to Museum Director Rick Bailey, who was also an in-country Vietnam Vetran & one of our key military advisors. 

 

Several scenes were shot at the Ft. Chaffee Museum adjacent to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, filmed for it's era authentic barracks.  Interestingly many thousands of Vietnamese refugees ended up being processed there after the U.S. pullout in 1973.

 

We chose the State of Arkansas for its open spaces, dramatic skies, and numerous rice fields. Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the United States, these fields were pivotal in recreating what was found in South Vietnam during the war. Surprisingly, Arkansas’ forests were similar to what would have been found under the jungle canopy in Vietnam. 

 

Many thanks to the local Arkansas & California volunteer Production Assistants (P.A.s), they are our greatest assets! the business owners and the people we worked with in Arkansas.  A nod to the hard working Arkansas Film Commissioner, Christopher Crane.

Tet Child Holiday figure

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A Family, portraying that despite circumstances, love will prevail. Our scenario takes place during the Vietnam War. The inequity expressed is that if love is between two same sex people it must be punished-often by military prison & court martial. Despite the many brave patriotic gay soldiers who gave their lives for us-they could not live as equals with us. 

 

Film Synopsis

It's 1968, two gay point men, in love in the midst of the Vietnam War, lead their squad in a desperate attempt to survive a botched Phoenix Mission, despite their Captain who has lost his humanity & who will use any means to win, including sacrificing the squad.

Just before Tet (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year), a squad of combat soldiers prepares for leave away from war in Vietnam. Ian and Reese, professional soldiers both are non-commissioned officers, highly trained Army Rangers along with three other squad members are the only survivors of their platoon after it was overrun by the North Vietnamese months before. They relax in anticipation of R&R. Ian and Reese have fallen in love with each during the intimacy of combat, trauma and survival as they have faced nearly continual combat near the DMZ in South Vietnam.

 

Their relationship is an open secret in the squad with varying degrees of acceptance, conflict and rejection. The other members of the squad, Doc, Thumper, and Burd have more important issues to deal with than this couple’s unconventional sexuality: survival and doing their job.

Just before the holiday, the squad’s leave is abruptly cancelled & they are given a Phoenix Program mission to kidnap a village official thought to be a Viet Cong operative and agent of the North Vietnamese. With this mission comes a new officer, Captain John Tower Heinrick, an expert in Asian philosophy, culture and insurgency warfare. With secrets of his own. Captain Heinrick only values obedience to his goal of destroying the Communists using any "available method." He changes the mission on his own, which challenges each of the squad members to decide what is "acceptable behavior" for an American Army soldier, ultimately the decision could threaten their own survival.

Below: R&R with SGT Ian Alexander & SGT John Reese
 

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