Paul Haggis's In The Valley of Elah is based on actual events, and portrays a military father's search for his son and subsequent hunt for his son's killers. The film explores themes including the Iraq war, abuse of prisoners, and post-traumatic stress disorder following active combat. The film tells the story of war veteran Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones), his wife Joan (Susan Sarandon) and the search for their son Mike (Jonathan Tucker), a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing. Hank's investigation is aided by a police detective (Charlize Theron) who becomes personally involved in the case. Mike's body is found, cut to pieces and burnt. The military initially attempts to block the police and then suggest Mike's death was due to drug-related violence. His platoon mates who last saw him lie to Hank and the police, and Hank, as a former military man, tells the police that the soldiers could not have killed their comrade. Ultimately, it turns out that Hank is wrong that the soldiers had killed and dismembered Mike after a seemingly insignificant quarrel. The soldier who confesses to Hank and the police seems disassociative, likely due to post-traumatic stress disorder from the war.