Sun, June 12, 2011 @ 1 pm › Speed Auditorium › 2035 S 3rd StPost Screening Q&A with Director Charles Berkowitz
War is War is War
Odysseus in in America is a documentary film based on psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay’s ground breaking book. The book and the film reveal the parallels in Odysseus’ epic ten-year journey home from Troy— sung by Homer 3,000 years ago — to events in the lives of today’s American combat veterans. The ancients, the film argues, understood the psychological impact of combat on all those who fight, survive, and return home. Odysseus’ experiences mirror the symptoms commonly reported among the veterans of modern wars: fearfulness, inability to trust or to maintain close relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional outbursts; and in some violence and criminal activity. Using extensive exclusive archival footage, veterans’ personal collections, and interviews with Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq war veterans, the film discloses the lifelong effects of America’s decision to engage its citizens in war.
The film reveals that many of our country’s veterans, even 60 years after service, exist in a nether world somewhere between the battlefield and home. In the words of one Vietnam combat medic, “many of us still aren’t home.” For this veteran, and generations of soldiers before and since, the return to self and home has been less than a victory. The collateral damage to families, communities and by extension, civil society, endures long after the peace settlements and cease fires.
Directed by: Charles Berkowitz
Narrated by: David Strathairn