Annette Bening, Laura Dern, Michael C. Hall, and More Join WAR UNFOLDING Documentary

War Unfolding is a documentary about historian Andrew Carroll, who travels the world to seek out the greatest war letters ever written.

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Sypher Studios have announced its upcoming documentary, War Unfolding, narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening and featuring an all-star cast including Eliza Bennett, Rachel Bloom, Gary Cole, Abigail Cowen, Oscar-winner Laura Dern, Monique Edwards, SAG Award winner Michael C. Hall, SAG Award winner Kelvin Harrison Jr., Golden Globe winner Paul Walter Hauser, Thurn Hoffman, Richard T. Jones, Jay Lee, Erick Lopez, Sandra Seacat, Oscar-winner Wes Studi, DeWanda Wise, and others.

Based on three New York Times bestselling books by historian Andrew Carroll (Letters of a Nation, War Letters, and Behind the Lines) and inspired by the stage play (If All the Sky Were Paper), War Unfolding will be directed by John B. Benitz (Children of the Struggle, The Power of the Actor), and written by Bryce Cyrier (Cancer Alley, Prodigy), Benitz, and Carroll. They produce alongside Jason Pamer (The Heart of Man, Rape for Profit) and Jens Jacob (Cancer Alley, Scarecrow) of Sypher Studios, and Garland Hunt Jr. (Experience Yosemite, Tutankhamun: Enter the Tomb). Executive Produced by Dave Lopez and Kerry Patton.

War Unfolding is a documentary about historian Andrew Carroll, who travels the world to seek out the greatest war letters ever written. Over the past 25 years, Carroll has preserved more than 200,000 correspondences from troops, veterans, and their families, dating from THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION to the present day. The letters capture unvarnished stories and reveal the SECRETS OF our best and worst natures-as well as our shared humanity. "The letters transcend the subject of war," Carroll says. "They're not just about combat. They're about love, grief, courage, faith, resilience, longing, compassion, hope-emotions that resonate with all of us."

The original stage play was written by Carroll and directed by John B. Benitz. It has been performed in prestigious venues around the country, from the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with a cast that has included Annette Bening, Laura Dern, Mary Steenburgen, Dan Lauria, Gary Cole, Ed Asner, Peter Strauss, Jim Beaver, Ken Howard, Common, and many more.

Branching from Carroll's ongoing journey, the documentary will now portray the stories of troops and their families, using their own words and images from this vast collection of letters, emails, photographs, and other media, and will be augmented by filmed readings of the letters performed by world-class actors. The result is a uniquely vivid and human account of the war experience documenting not just what war looks like, but what it feels like.

The scope of the documentary is as expansive as it is intimate, with the creative team filming all across the U.S. and in six countries, including in Switzerland, England, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine-along with footage that Carroll took while traveling to 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan during those wars. The filmmakers captured interviews at historic sites such as the Imperial War Museum; headquarters of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (the first female, all African-American battalion); and Holocaust memorials at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Pustków.

Told from a variety of cultures and perspectives, the stories in the letters range from graphic depictions of medevac missions in Iraq, and a seaman writing from inside a ship during the bombing of Pearl Harbor; to a Black Lieutenant Colonel who faced discrimination from her fellow officers, an Army veteran whose son was killed in the Marines during the battle of Fallujah, and profound accounts of healing and reconciliation in the aftermath of war.

"People may think they know what war is like," wrote Oscar Mitchell, a major in the U.S. Army during World War II. "Their knowledge is facts of the mind. Mine is the war-torn body, scared to soul's depth. When I was in the States, war was far away, unreal. I had read, I had seen pictures, but now I know..."

"I believe we have a moral and human obligation to listen to the voices of these people, those who have served and those most touched by war...and that if we do...truly listen, they may well hold the power to help heal and bring us together," states John B. Benitz, director.

"Carroll's war letters project is a unique and ever-growing treasure of history and humanity. Although we hope many of us will never experience war firsthand, these letters give us a glimpse into the true cost of war and the sacrifices that these troops and their loved ones make," adds Bryce Cyrier, producer/writer.


Sypher Studios is a full-service content studio that develops, produces and distributes series and feature films. Known for Cancer Alley, which the studio released alongside Steph Curry's Unanimous Media, Sypher Studios has also produced and distributed the genre-breaking film, The Heart of Man, which has been released theatrically in 30+ countries around the world. Founded by Producers Jens Jacob and Jason Pamer in 2016, Sypher Studios is currently in development on six projects with two set to release in 2023.


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