Glazed is the story of listless Viet Nam veteran, Bill Malone. The disheveled and beleaguered vet sits in the dark chain smoking cigarettes. Bill doesn’t want to talk anymore. A calm voice in the room encourages him to continue. Bill relents and again recounts the events of that terrible day he can never forget or forgive. With a strange unknown guilt he describes a Viet Nam as he remembers it, scary, dark, and alone. Through his raw and painful words, we are taken back to the day where his friends were all massacred. Shots ring out in the jungle as a terrible firefight roars in the distance. Bill runs to aid his comrades, but is too late. His friends are dead and he is left truly alone in the jungle. Thoughts of his wife flash across his mind like a ghost haunting him, but the jungle is alive and now it is he who is hunted. Bill flees for his life, but cannot outrun the demon who chases him. Alone and without any remaining ammunition, Bill must face his demon or be consumed by it. Losing his will to carry on, he hesitates in desperation. Thoughts of his wife push him through, and the final confrontation with his demon begins.
There are times in your life when you feel very strongly about an incident, a circumstance, or a person. Things happen to you everyday that affect how you think, act, and react tomorrow. The world can change on a dime and usually will. This became extraordinarily evident to Jeff Loach and I during the production of Glazed. A film in and of itself about just that: the precariousness of life and love and sudden change.
It was early in 2001, months before 9/11 that we first decided we wanted to make a film about American soldiers and the aftermath and continuing battles of its survivors. We wanted (in that world of relative peace) to remind people of what the American soldier has done for us over the years, and to think about what we are asking of our soldiers when we send them to war. The horrors they will have to endure and the psychological effects war can have upon them. And so, we crafted the story of Glazed, an exploration into the psyche of a veteran who in the blink of an eye, lost everything in his life, both at war and at home and its effect on him still years later.
We went into production during the summer of 2001 with conviction, purpose, and a sense of responsibility. As we moved into post-production the unthinkable happened: 9/11. The entire world changed. Our feelings for our film changed. Our conviction and sense of responsibility changed. We began to question. Was this story appropriate now? Americans are uniting over tragedy, they don’t want to be reminded of what’s at stake when you wage war. So, we decided to shelve the project.
By the winter of 2004, the world had changed again. The U.S. for the first time had invaded a country on a pre-emptive strike. The country and the world was now divided over whether or not we should have gone to war. The American people began to forget what we have asked our soldiers to do for our protection. The message of Glazed had become appropriate again.
With renewed conviction, purpose, and sense of responsibility, we dusted off our tapes and files and carried on. We completed the film filtered through our changed eyes. Is the completed film a searing look at the U.S. Government and their treatment of soldiers? No. Is it a Michael Moore-like political Pandora’s Box meant to spark controversy and ire? No. Is it a small film about how the world can change on a dime, and how we’ll never be the same? Yes, and we think in this post 9/11 world, that that’s something we can all understand.