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Grady College Grady News
"Musil Completes Work of Passion"
Spring 2007, p.31
Georgia resident and independent
filmmaker Donna Musil (ABJ ’81) directed
and produced Brats: Our Journey Home, a
seven-year work of passion about children
who grew up in military families.
Musil was raised an Army brat and
has lived and worked in Germany, Korea,
Ireland, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, Washington, D.C., Georgia, North
Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Paris. As a
child, she moved 12 times in 16 years. Her
father was a JAG officer and military judge.
Musil graduated from Grady, earned a
UGA law degree, and worked in a variety
of jobs, but always felt “different” from her
fellow Americans. In 1997, she learned
that she was not alone. While surfing the
Internet, Musil stumbled upon a military
brats registry. A few weeks later, she
attended a reunion in Washington, D.C.
It was revelatory. For the first time, Musil
felt like she “belonged” somewhere. That’s
when she decided to make the documentary
and thus began her “journey home.”
Brats: Our Journey Home has been
created from over 500 interviews with
“brats” from all branches of the services
and integrated with rare archival footage,
home movies from post-war Japan and
pre-war Vietnam. It also includes never-before-
seen photographs from private
sources and is narrated and features songs
by Kris Kristofferson. General Norman
Schwarzkopf and Kristofferson share their
brat stories, which are no less amazing
than the stories of everyday folks like Olga
Ramos and Laird Knight.
In 2006, the film was an official
selection at 19 film festivals and won “Best
Documentary” at the Estes Park Film
Festival and the “Emerging Eye” First
Time Director’s Award at the Roving Eye
Documentary Film Festival. In 2007, Musil
will accompany the film on national tour.
When not working, Musil lives on a lake in
central Georgia and loves to read, travel and
explore the Blue Ridge Mountains.