The Hun is a short film drama set in the trenches during the late stages of the First World War. It follows a young American soldier, Private MacDonald, who has just become his company’s new message runner. Facing imminent German advances, MacDonald and his brothers in arms mentally prepare for the onslaught. The Hun portrays metaphorical themes in the fog of war through storytelling and myth, which can only amount to the reality; war is hell. Written and directed by Marine Corps veteran, Tyler Mendelson, this short film sheds light on a worldwide conflict that is sadly much forgotten, during its one-hundred year anniversary.

Director’s Statement

As I’ve come to learn, World War I is arguably one of the most interesting and unique wars to learn about. It was a time of the alliance system, massive changes in world empires, and a startlingly
fast-paced upgrade in technology and innovation. The world was suddenly swept up into an enormous conflict that left over 41 million casualties in its wake. Through researching about all of the fascinating details, I became more enthralled by the more personal stories. Behind every rifle, inside of every tank, airplane and ship, were ordinary people. Reading about the horrors they went through is what pushed me towards creating The Hun. It is the centennial: The one-hundred year anniversary of the war, and the later part, including American involvement. Although the U.S. was only in the tail-end of the war, they played a massive role in its outcome. During my research, I watched as many World War I films as I could to see what was out there. I came to find that there are much less centered on American soldiers, as most detail the French, British, and German forces. While they are just as important to cover, I felt that an American story was deserved.

I always love hearing urban legends, and there are some very interesting ones involving war. I remember being on post with buddies throughout my time in the Marines, talking about everything from ghosts, to the meaning of life. In wanting to tell a human story, I thought about what kind of stories the doughboys in the trenches might have told. Coincidentally, throughout my research, I found out that the Huns had battled the Romans 1,467 years earlier in the same region. And what were the Germans nicknamed in World War I? The Hun. Nicknames of the enemy is typical in war. It creates another identity for them,
especially one with negative connotations, making them the “Other,” and removing their humanity. World War I was in many ways, an unnecessary, and pointless conflict. The Hun metaphorically depicts the true enemy to be death, and he is always nearby. I hope in telling this short, fictional story, it will make people more interested in the actual war, and understand the kind of horrors these young men faced. I hope to
honor their memory, and keep it alive, for a hundred more years, and many more after.

The Hun was made possible by our dedicated Kickstarter supporters, and an amazing cast and crew. I appreciate their faith in me, and my creative vision.