Only The Brave, the movie about the Granite Mountain Hotshots from Yarnell, premieres at the Tempe Marketplace at the Harkins Theater. This movie brings the story of the 20 hotshots who fought the Yarnell fire and 19 lost their lives June 30, 2013. “Donut” is the only survivor of this firefighting group. This film is bringing awareness and education about those who fight wildfires each summer while focusing on these brave 19 souls and one survivor.
One family member expressed her deepest loss from the fire. She lost her son and nephew. She honors their memories this evening by wearing her son’s pants and nephew’s belt. The pain and loss are real for these families each day. Their loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for their community, home, and family. The evening honors those men who lost their lives fighting this lightning-caused fire to save the homes, lives, and beauty in Yarnell Arizona.Those men were fathers, sons, nephews, and brothers. They had homes and hobbies, but one day took the call as a first responder for wildfires. This evening brings many family members to tell the story of sacrifice and loss.
Amanda Marsh, the wife to firefighter Eric Marsh, joined the cast and crew this evening. She has made her message strong and proud in honor of the husband she lost. She has taken her pain and turned it to helping others. She created the Eric Marsh Foundation for Wildland Firefighters. This foundation provides assistance with, “heartbreak at its deepest level, and we have the ability and resources to help others dealing with the same loss and trauma” (Eric Marsh Foundation Website). This year our country is experiencing a loss of over 2 million acres due to wildland fires. This film brings forward the battle and struggles these families and firefighters face to protect our homes, families, and wildlands.
Tonight the premiere brought Hollywood actors to the Phoenix red carpet. They came to honor these men and to bring awareness to the struggles living their live fighting fires. Josh Brolin, his character is Eric Marsh in the film, in a behind the scenes clip states, “there should be a moment when the audience is educated on how tough it is to be a wildland firefighter.” The firefighters live in the most rugged conditions for weeks. They carry 40-50 lbs packs with their water, meals ready to eat, sleeping gear, and shower infrequently.
Miles Teller, his character is Donut in the film, says, “These guys go all over the country for two weeks at a time. They go home for two days to return for two more weeks. They do this for six to eight months each year. They work their butts off.” The sacrifice these firefighters and their families make to protect our livelihoods.
Joseph Kosinski, film’s director, wanted to bring the vision to this film “that you do not need to carry a gun to be a hero. What firefighters do. That it is a war a war against mother nature. It felt grounded and real,” he states behind the scenes. This film brings this story to the scene. Eric Marsh brought this municipal firehouse to a Type 1 Crew hotshots.
Filming was in Santa Fé New Mexico for most of the film. The Yarnell part filmed last. James Dale Badge stated this evening, “We filmed Yarnell last. At that moment we had to trust that it was in us as actors. This is our job.” The film’s song, Hold the Light, is by Dierks Bentley, who grew up in Phoenix. The sacrifice made by many to protect our wildlands, communities, and livelihood presents in this film. This film opens in theaters October 20, 2017. Check your local listing for times and tickets.
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