Saturday, May 26, 2012

Repressed but Rediscovered: World War II Army film dealt with returning veterans having PTSD (they didn’t call it that back then)

After watching this video do you think it’s still relevant today?

              Good Day Humboldt County!

  Sometimes we have to undergo painful journeys in our lives and we’re forever affected by them. As a combat Vietnam veteran I have had my share.

  I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). So you can see my interest in sharing this article with you. This being Memorial Day Weekend and all, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to remember those old warriors from WW II and how they dealt with PTSD, or what they called it back then… “Shell Shock.”

The original film “Let There Be Light,” was considered too controversial and was suppressed. It broke ground by showing both black and white soldiers freely mixing at the hospital, sharing both group therapy sessions and playing sports together.

"The guns are quiet now," is the first line in John Huston's 1946 short film, "Let There Be Light," which focuses on World War II veterans dealing with what we'd today call post-traumatic stress disorder.

A fully restored version of Huston's original film is available for free online viewing for three months on the National Film Preservation Foundation's website. And in a time when modern veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are dealing with similiar issues, many believe that the 65-year-old footage can still be relevant.

"We don't know what combination it was that (the Army) didn't like," said Annette Melville, director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, which funded the film's restoration.

Not only was the film suppressed, but in 1947, the Army released "Shades of Gray," a film that's essentially a remake of Huston's work, even lifting dialogue from "Let There Be Light" and putting it into the mouths of actors -- all of them white.” (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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