Inspired by real events. A woman faces mounting anxiety and fear when her pilot husband unexpectedly volunteers to fly troops and refugees out of Afghanistan in August 2021. *WINNER - Best Hometowner Narrative Short, Indie Memphis Film Festival 2022 *WINNER - Best Narrative Short, South Georgia Film Festival 2023
In August of 2021 a close friend of mine, who is a former Air Force pilot, volunteered to go overseas and fly missions during the final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. He felt compelled to do so in an effort to help Afghan refugees, American citizens abroad, and U.S. service members find safety amid the chaos of that effort. So many of us watched in horror as people clung to the sides, wings, and landing gears of planes that were attempting to take off from Kabul. I was terrified when I got a New York Times news alert that a bomb had been denoted at the airport there, and several people, U.S. and Afghan, were dead or injured. Unbeknownst to me, my friend wasn't in Kabul at the time of the bombing, and I was beyond relieved when I heard from his wife that he was ok. After he returned home, I spent time over the dinner table listening to him recount his experience. I also began to ask questions of his wife about her time at home, receiving inconsistent communication from him while being bombarded with news alerts, texts, and phone calls that only intensified her growing fear and anxiety about his safety. It brought to mind my own experience of being unsure of whether or not he would make it home, which was, of course, just a small fraction of what she had been through. We began to discuss her experience more in depth and, over several conversations, covered a range of topics and thoughts. We talked about our relationships to our devices and screens, how they are necessary tools for information and communication but come at an extracting cost. We discussed her approach to parenting amidst real uncertainty. She shared her complex and conflicting emotions about his decision to go at all. What began to emerge was a portrait of someone at odds with her circumstances but forced to endure them anyway. Someone consumed by fear and anxiety but attempting a semblance of normalcy. She was kind enough to agree to let me fictionalize her very real experience. The result is "Nordo", a meditation on fear, anxiety, and the power of acceptance amidst the unknown. I hope you like it, and I hope it moves you in some way. - Kyle T.