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The Independent Critic

Thomas Tunski
Emily Noel Ritchie
28 Mins.

 "Through Struggle to the Stars" Targets Indie Fest Circuit 

Based upon a collection of letters sent by a 21-year-old air gunner during World War II to his wife overseas in Canada, writer/director Emily Noel Ritchie's Through Struggle to the Stars is an experimental biopic that uses the actual dialogue from the letters to create a sense of the young man's inner turmoil as he fights to stay hopeful in an environment where hope can be hard to find. 

The gunner, the real life first husband of Ritchie's grandmother, is portrayed in a sort of dreamlike haze by Thomas Tunski with original music by Joshua Bookhalter serving as a constant companion along with the hypnotic, kaleidoscopic lensing of Gerardo Ramos. 

Through Struggle to the Stars is targeted at both a festival release along with online screening, the obvious goal it would seem is to simply get the unique, thoughtful film seen by a wider audience and, in particular, those who embrace the more experimental side of indie cinema and those with a penchant for cinematic representations of war history. 

There's no question, as is true of most experimental cinema, that Through Struggle to the Stars won't click for everyone but for those whom it does it's likely to be a memorable experience. 

For more information on Emily Noel Ritchie and Through Struggle to the Stars, visit the filmmaker's website linked to in the credits to the left of this review. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic