DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT - DOUGLAS MUELLER
I was very attracted to films that bucked common structures regarding the main character. Stories like A "Christmas Carol," or John Cheever’s "The Swimmer," have protagonists, who in some ways change very little and the story is structured, not around their motives, but the actions and opinions of those around the protagonist. This gives the secondary characters a lot of responsiblility as the ensemble is tasked to move the story all while reflecting a consistant change on the protagonist.
I was also focused on making the atmosphere in Repatriation reflect my experience growing up in a remote, medium sized town in the mid-west and the moment I began writing it, I envisioned Dubuque, Iowa as the backdrop. I was born in Dubuque, but never lived there but I knew its beautfiful brick downtown area would give Repatriation a familiar, if not recognizable setting. Basing the film in Iowa gave me reasonable access to the talented Chicago theater community. One motivation for this film was to have a lot of opinions- I’d grown frustrated with indepenent films only having three characters so having a mix of resonating locations and quality performances through a long journey was achieved.