Breaking Trailer: A Heartbreaking Tale Based On A True Veteran Story

In the new film "Breaking" (formerly named "892"), John Boyega plays a Marine veteran named Brian Brown-Easley who has been denied disability support from Veterans Affairs. He chooses to enter the Wells Fargo bank in Atlanta with a note saying that he has a bomb. Though he lets most of the customers go from the location, he keeps a manager and a teller (Nicole Beharie and Selenis Leyva) as hostages. A stand-off begins with government agencies, and we get flashbacks to how this situation happened in the first place. 

We've heard this story before, and not just in the movies. "Breaking" is based on a true and terribly heartbreaking story. Though I haven't seen the entire film yet (/Film's own Ethan Anderton reviewed it at Sundance), I've already found myself looking up the details of the actual event. A story written about it in Task & Purpose is actually what inspired director and co-writer Adi Damaris Corbin to pen the script with Kwame Kwei-Armah, according to the LA Times. (Warning: both articles contain spoilers for what really happened in the end, including the title of the first one.)

The most crushing part of the whole thing is that Brown-Easley wasn't there to rob the bank. He just wanted the $892 (the original name of the film) disability check that was owed to him.

Based on a heartbreaking true story

The film won the Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Here is the official synopsis for "Breaking:"

When Marine Veteran Brian Brown-Easley is denied support from Veterans Affairs, financially desperate and running out of options, he takes a bank and several of its employees' hostage, setting the stage for a tense confrontation with the police. Based on the true story.

"Breaking" also stars the late Michael K. Williams as the negotiating officer Eli Bernard, Connie Britton as a producer at the local news station, Olivia Washington as Brown-Ealey's wife Cassandra, and London Covington as their young daughter Kiah. The film is distributed by Bleecker Street. 

Whatever happens with this movie, I hope it shines yet another light on the plight of veterans in this country. I was gut-punched enough just watching the trailer this morning that I had to take a few moments to breathe before writing. I hope this is one of the instances in which the power of cinema changes things. 

"Breaking" will premiere in theaters on August 26, 2022.