Many people have asked me why I chose to write this film. While it is hard to pinpoint a single reason or influence, I have always been fascinated with history. My dad is a history buff and World War II was a period that I have been interested in. I have long wondered what I would have done if I were alive at that time. Of course, as a woman, my options would be somewhat limited. It's a period that is often romanticized and one that represents our nations commitment to freedom. And while that perception is one that I share, I found myself drawn to the darker aspects of the period... the cost of the war, both at home and abroad. The toll that it took on everyone. And these questions helped shape what became K.I.A.
While the story takes place during the abundant post-war period, Alice and Rick each carry the weight of the war with them. For Alice, she carries a pride and patriotism for her deceased husband. She clings to this patriotism and finds great strength in it. Rick, however, is weighted down by all that he witnessed abroad. The reality of war is very present for him, yet he must keep it bottled up. Of course, when these characters meet, they must confront what really happened.
In writing Rick's story, I wanted to make sure that I was drawing upon accurate representations of the war. While Rick's memories are not based on an actual historical event, they were loosely inspired by the Dachau Massacre. It was also important to me to portray PTSD. PTSD was undiagnosed during World War II and did not become formally acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association until 1980. The term “shell shocked” was used during World War I, but the condition was largely misunderstood and coupled with judgment.
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