Review by Mark Schwab
January 1st, 2018
After showing us the ravages of PTSD affecting our veterans in MY OWN WAR and the help of one extraordinary service dog in GANDER, Stacey Stone continues the journey with the 37-minute documentary FOREVER UNDER SIEGE chronicling more struggle and more heartbreak. Once again, the filmmaking and editing are exemplary, the veterans profiled are truly affecting and their stories are worthy of going under the documentary microscope. If you've seen Stone's previous films on this subject (especially MY OWN WAR), I'm certain you will continue to get wrapped up and angry at what our veterans go through every day in trying to lead normal peaceful lives (convincingly documented again as being a very long and tough road). It is irrefutable that the psychological trauma of war (along with the physical) exacts pounds of personality and brain functions along with their flesh.
Although never less than interesting and moving, I did feel like this ultimately treaded very little new ground from MY OWN WAR and looking over my original review of that film I find that I would say almost exactly the same words for FOREVER UNDER SIEGE. I even noticed some of the same footage repeated here from that previous film which is usually a red flag for me when presented with a "new work". However, what did feel stronger this time around was the stock footage of wars past and present expertly woven throughout - it seems more intense and harrowing in FOREVER UNDER SIEGE which admittedly brings more graphic context to the veterans' stories making it all feel even sadder and more tragic.
If you haven't seen MY OWN WAR (and you really should), FOREVER UNDER SIEGE will be a real gut punch. But if you have seen the previous film, I think this could feel somewhat repetitive at times. To be clear though...these stories still deserve to be told and it isn't a bad thing to hear them again - we need them to stick in our American souls. If you aren't outraged by what we have put so many good men and women through in the pursuit of war, Stacey Stone's trilogy will certainly inspire some within you if you have any soul at all.