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In 2004, Company A of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 116th Infantry Brigade was deployed to Afghanistan, the first time the entire company had gone to war since World War II. And on that previous occasion, as Sgt. Howard Holt says in Joe Fab’s and Elliot Berlin’s documentary, “the results for Company A wasn’t good.” Some of the first Yanks ashore on Omaha Beach, the Bedford, Va., boys lost 19 of their own that day, the highest per-capita loss of any community in America. Bedford tells stories touching (twins who never separated till June 6, 1944) and pointless (the wide-ranging recollections of an English country pastor who was a toddler when Company A billeted nearby pre-invasion). Fab and Berlin never get the balance quite right, and while some of their narrative devices are terrific, like the 3-D animation of family photos, others, like loud background music, an over-reliance on stock footage, and actors with Fried Green Tomatoes accents reading letters home, are less so. On a scale of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford (worth seeing) to the town of Bedford itself (not), it’s a drive down Route 221/460 (optional but nice).
Saturday, April 25, at 6 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Directors Joe Fab and Elliot Berlin will appear.