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The Independent Critic

FEATURING
Billy Cook (Narrator), Captain Thomas Wall (Archival), Ian Wall, Joel Wall, Meghan Huffman
DIRECTED BY
Jacob Whitley
RUNNING TIME
52 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Amazon Prime
WATCH THIS FILM 

 "Brave Are the Fallen" Available on Amazon Prime 
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Jacob Whitley's 52-minute feature doc Brave are the Fallen is a moving, heartfelt tribute to Captain Thomas Wall, an Orange County firefighter killed on October 5, 1998 while fighting the Taylor Fire in Riverside, California. Wall, who had been battling the fire alongside other firefighters for 10 hours, was protecting exposed dwellings when he told other firefighters that he didn't feel well and collapsed. Captain Wall died of a heart attack while in the line of duty. Captain Wall has been honored on the National Fallen Fighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. 

Originally filming Wall's story as a student doc short while he was at Cal State Fullerton, Whitley has expanded Brave are the Fallen into a nearly hour-long feature doc alongside Zapruder Pictures and the film is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime. 

Whitley uses a weaving together of archival footage of Captain Wall along with interviews with his surviving wife, three children, and those who worked alongside him over the years. The interviews with the children, all adults now of course, are particularly emotionally resonant and hint at the grief that still seems to linger over the loss of a father while they were still aged pre-teen to teen. 

Brave Are the Fallen is at its best and strongest when it focuses on Wall's family, their testimonies heartfelt and filled with reminders of the risks taken by firefighters daily to protect human lives, animal lives, our property, and our natural resources.

The film falls a bit short when it intersperses what feels like more generic, canned statements about firefighters in general that feel more like a PSA than an integral part of the story. The film's narration by Billy Cook, as well, falls short of the emotional resonance often present throughout much of the film. 

However, there's simply no denying the impact of Wall's story. After obtaining his fire science degree, Wall began his lifelong dedication to firefighting at the age 21 and served faithfully over the years while advancing in roles and responsibilities. Remembered with a warm affection by friends and peers, Captain Thomas Wall's memory is well served by this engaging, memorable documentary that you can watch for yourself now on Amazon Prime. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

 "Brave Are the Fallen" Available on Amazon Prime 
Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
LinkedIn
Pinterest
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Add to favorites
Email

Jacob Whitley's 52-minute feature doc Brave are the Fallen is a moving, heartfelt tribute to Captain Thomas Wall, an Orange County firefighter killed on October 5, 1998 while fighting the Taylor Fire in Riverside, California. Wall, who had been battling the fire alongside other firefighters for 10 hours, was protecting exposed dwellings when he told other firefighters that he didn't feel well and collapsed. Captain Wall died of a heart attack while in the line of duty. Captain Wall has been honored on the National Fallen Fighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. 

Originally filming Wall's story as a student doc short while he was at Cal State Fullerton, Whitley has expanded Brave are the Fallen into a nearly hour-long feature doc alongside Zapruder Pictures and the film is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime. 

Whitley uses a weaving together of archival footage of Captain Wall along with interviews with his surviving wife, three children, and those who worked alongside him over the years. The interviews with the children, all adults now of course, are particularly emotionally resonant and hint at the grief that still seems to linger over the loss of a father while they were still aged pre-teen to teen. 

Brave Are the Fallen is at its best and strongest when it focuses on Wall's family, their testimonies heartfelt and filled with reminders of the risks taken by firefighters daily to protect human lives, animal lives, our property, and our natural resources.

The film falls a bit short when it intersperses what feels like more generic, canned statements about firefighters in general that feel more like a PSA than an integral part of the story. The film's narration by Billy Cook, as well, falls short of the emotional resonance often present throughout much of the film. 

However, there's simply no denying the impact of Wall's story. After obtaining his fire science degree, Wall began his lifelong dedication to firefighting at the age 21 and served faithfully over the years while advancing in roles and responsibilities. Remembered with a warm affection by friends and peers, Captain Thomas Wall's memory is well served by this engaging, memorable documentary that you can watch for yourself now on Amazon Prime. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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