3 October 2012 | runamokprods
Gut wrenching documentary
Relentlessly grim, gut wrenching documentary on Veterans afflicted by PTSD, from the Civil War right through Iraq.
A plea for more care to be given to soldiers' minds, with estimates in the film of numbers as high as 30% of all soldiers being affected by PTSD. Indeed one active army psychiatrist says he doesn't know how any man or woman could see much active battle and not be deeply scarred, unless they were dead inside to begin with.
The individual stories are all tremendously affecting, all so different, and yet all the same at the core, from aging WWII veterans openly weeping looking back to their shattered post-war lives, to a Civil War soldier's series of letters charting his decent from wide-eyed optimism into suicidal despair, to an Iraq veteran's family trying to hold it together with their father not the same man who left for war.
It's not an anti-military film. Indeed the film credits the modern army for at least admitting this is a real problem and trying to find better ways to help soldiers cope. But to paraphrase one mother in the film, until the army spends as much time and effort helping these men heal as it does turning them into killing machines, the destruction of souls will continue unabated.
How interesting and powerful to see a film that's pro-military but anti-war. And really, is there any better way to be pro solider? To appreciate what they do by trying to protect them the best we can, and by avoiding war and putting them in harm's way unless it's absolutely and completely unavoidable? And to do all that we can to repay them with care and attention, and the funds and social will that takes.