Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review of HBO Documentary "Wartorn 1861-2010"

CAUTION: There are very graphic scenes in this compelling HBO documentary.  These scenes may be too strong for people suffering from PTSD.
Although the HBO documentary "Wartorn 1861-2010" was first aired on HBO in November of 2010, I screened it now in connection with my proposed SOLOMON'S JUSTICE TV drama project.

The documentary traces PTSD back to the Civil War with compelling testimony in the letters home from a soldier. There is also footage from World War I and World II as well as Vietnam.

Perhaps the most graphic parts of the documentary are footage from Iraq and the stories of the veterans and families today living with the legacy of PTSD.

Actor and documentary exec producer James Gandolfini visited Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. as well as army headquarters in Iraq to question what the military is doing to help military personnel dealing with PTSD.

While there are not a lot of answers in this documentary, for people who question that PTSD wounds are real, after watching this documentary there should be no uncertainty.

And for me, having just written a blog post about my visit to the Los Angeles County Veterans Court, it was particularly upsetting to see a young veteran sentenced to six years in prison for a felony committed under the influence of PTSD symptoms.

I believe that, if the young man had been sentenced by a veterans courts, he would not have received a six-year prison term.  Instead it would be hoped that he might have been sent to a residential treatment center for his PTSD-induced violence.

Hats off to James Gandolfini and HBO for tackling this very important subject.  

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the ebook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is also the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC

No comments: