“It’s a story ripe to be told,” says Remy Auberjonois, an actor best known for roles in Mad Men and Weeds. He’s making his directorial debut with Blood Stripe. “There is coverage of this issue out there,” he continues, “but you don’t hear about it from a female soldier’s perspective.”
Starring his wife, Minnesota-born actress Kate Nowlin, as Sarge, the film highlights the difficulties returning veterans often face while attempting to reintegrate into society. In one scene, Sarge mows the lawn in the middle of the night. In another, a welcome home party becomes overwhelming. Knowing the significant wait there will be to receive treatment at the VA, she instead escapes to a camp on Lake Vermilion, where she used to go as a child.
“The lake is really a character in the film,” says Auberjonois. “My wife and I have spent a lot of time up there, and it’s one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. But what happens when you bring this mindset that doesn’t allow you to enjoy it?”