By Roberta Seligman
What we now call Post-Traumatic Stress or PTSD has always been with us, but it has had many other names: In the Civil War, soldiers were said to suffer from ‘soldier’s heart.’ In the First World War, they were sent off the battlefield with ‘shell shock.’ The filmmaker’s own father, Mel, came back from World War II with ‘combat fatigue.’ The trauma of his wartime experiences affected his entire family for years. To explore, and perhaps come to terms with what had happened to him, Seligman accompanies her parents on a return to the beachheads of Normandy, scene of some of the most bitter combat of the twentieth century.
In the midst of this now-tranquil countryside, Mel tries to come to terms with his memories not only of what happened to him and his fellow American soldiers, but of some of the acts they were themselves responsible for. First released to widespread acclaim in 1988, this devastating documentary is even more relevant today.
Purchase $195.00 DVD
Order No. QA-518
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-518-X
“According to his wife, Mel was not the same person when he came back home from the army. Vivid are his descriptions (in his own words) of the many ways in which war nerves affected him on the front line, in a field hospital, and at home. ...Mel indicated if the film had not been made he still would not talk about his war experiences.” PALAESTRA, Forum of Sport, Physical Education & Recreation For Those With Disabilities, May 2012
Awards & Conference Screenings
American Film and Video Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
Columbus International Film Festival
Earthpeace International Film Festival
Margaret Mead Film Festival
Museum of Modern Art, What’s Happening
National Educational Film & Video Festival
International Film & Television Festival of New York
Western Psychological Association
Hidden Wounds: Through three disturbing portraits of Iraq veterans, this powerful documentary highlights the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder, estimated to affect as many as one in five soldiers returning from the war in Iraq.
Good Days, Bad Days: This intimate documentary profiles several individuals who love and support someone who is struggling with mental illness, examining the profound impact that these disorders can have on other family members.
Changing Identities: A Story of Traumatic Injury and Art: Each year, approximately 1.5 million people have their lives suddenly changed by brain and spinal cord injuries or stroke. Bill Richards has developed a studio program that doesn't see art just as a form of therapy, but as a means for participants to redefine who they are, and begin to see themselves not as people with disabilities but as artists.
Carved from the Heart: When native carver Stan Marsden decided to create a totem pole in his son's memory, the project became a focus for the entire community's need to deal with loss, tragedy and healing.
Different From You: As a result of the 'deinstitutionalization' of mental patients, people with mental illnesses now make up a majority of the homeless in many areas. This video explores the problem through the work of a compassionate physician who cares for mentally ill people living on the streets and in inadequate 'board and care' facilities in Los Angeles.
Remembering Tom: This powerful film explores the tragic aftermath of a young man’s suicide, and its devastating impact on his entire family.
To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website