[December 2017] Jarett Liotta’s “Community & Country: A Spirit of Service” documentary enlightens viewers on military

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Lauren Wasserman ’19

Jarret Liotta, a Westport resident, journalist and parent of a Staples student, recently created a documentary– produced by the Westport Library and Westport Historical Society– called “Community & Country: A Spirit of Service.”

The film focuses on the presence of military officers and veterans within the Westport community and features various generations of military participants who shared war stories, their reasons for entering the military and what the military means to them.

Liotta said that he hoped his movie would reveal perspectives on the military that are not as frequently heard in this “bubble” of the world.

His goal is to enlighten rather than persuade. “I like to think I approached it as a journalist and didn’t specifically direct it at anybody,” Liotta stated. “I wanted to have a film that Westport residents would find interesting […] and a little different. But I wasn’t out to influence opinion with it at all.”

Liotta had war veterans and military officers speak about the military in general, rather than just about their war experiences. “I definitely didn’t want to to do something that was just the typical History Channel,” Liotta said. “It’s all valid, but to me there’s not much point in rehashing it. It’s all been said and done, so this hopefully is a different perspective.”

Leonard Everett Fisher, a featured war veteran, was impressed with the film. “The film accomplished the notion of those of us who enlisted in the military,” Fisher said, “because we felt we owed the country something […] the country that we love so much.”

Fisher added his belief that any kind of service to one’s country is important. “I think that service to your country in some way, even if it’s the peace corp, for example, should be an obligation for young people,” he said.

Liotta’s film has already impacted its’ viewers. “Watching the film made me realize how oblivious I was to the struggles of those within the military,” Jarret Liotta’s daughter, Margot Liotta ’19, said, “and how uninformed I’ve been this whole time.”

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