Breaking Ranks is a moving documentary about the plight of four U.S. soldiers seeking sanctuary in Canada as part of their resistance to the war in Iraq. With intimate access to four American military deserters, their lawyers and families, this film documents their experiences as they try to exercise their consciences amidst profound emotional, ethical and international consequences.
If deported, they face the venom of mainstream American opinion and one to five years in prison. If Canada instead follows the legacy established by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau during the Vietnam War, when Canada welcomed tens of thousands of war resisters, there may well be an unprecedented crisis in U.S.-Canadian relations.
The emotional core of Breaking Ranks is formed by candid interviews with the four young men as they take on their journeys from the moment of recruitment to the momentous decision to desert. Filmed over the course of the refugee process, this provocative film explores the meaning of duty as these young soldiers share their personal stories of moral awakening and the burden that it brings.