#REVIEW: “PERFUME WAR”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
War can be an uncomfortable matter, but in some instances good can come from it. That is, one person’s end to a journey can be someone else’s beginning. That is essentially the heartfelt and beautiful message that is told in the Documentary Perfume War. The Movie focuses on two subjects; Trevor Greene a solider for the Canadian army that was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 and Barb Stegemann who is Trevor’s best friend trying to continue his mission after tragedy strikes.
Trevor was trying to make peace in Afghanistan, as he was in an area with a few fellow soldiers engaging in a meeting with elders where there was a sense of peace and unity.. That is until the Taliban decided to strike Trevor in the head with an ax, miraculously Trevor survived despite his mission being over. Trevor is not just a soldier, he’s an activist, and he wants to bring peace and equality to the world. Barb promised Trevor that she would carry out his journey after she received word of what had happened to him in Afghanistan.
Barb decided to start a business opportunity that would take away opium from Afghanistan and use it for something useful, perfume, instead of heroine. This means that she was taking a product that was mainly used for drugs, exploited in Afghanistan, and using it for good, protecting the farmers of the orange and the opium so she can create something beautiful from it all.
Michael Melski does a great job of weaving Barb and Trevor’s stories. The only downside to the Documentary is that at times it tends to plod feeling excessively long, particularly late in the Film taking away focus from its original intent even though we appreciate the insight to Trevor‘s recovery and coping with PTSD. This perhaps could have been saved for a separate piece.
Overall, Perfume War is a very moving and touching Documentary about healing and activism which proves that if you are unwavering of your mission, you really can accomplish the extraordinary.
Loud Baby Productions release PERFUME WAR Friday, April 14, 2017 -in Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.