halfwayHome

HALFWAY HOME: A Review

How can a film about Veterans and PTSD and the horrors of war not include any word about the origin of the PTSD episodes: war itself? Not a word throughout the entire 90 minute film that even questions such behavior by the filmmakers! And not even mentioning the growing antiwar sentiment only acerbates the notion that war is inevitable. It is not inevitable. When corporations are involved in creating more bloodshed to guarantee the flow of oil makes for a very impotent and non-warrior type of film. We see soldiers coming back from, in this case Iraq, broken. And not to ask a question of why are we over there only prolongs the causes regardless of any healing modalities (Is the purpose to heal them so they can go back to war?) And where are the true warriors who have been to war and are now in positions of power to expose the hidden reasons for it, to expose the obscene machinations between the US government and its corporate masters, most notably Halliburton?

One other feature that needs to also be explored is: here is a film basically about PTSD yet we see no methodologies, no modalities for healing. We don’t even get close except for the great work of Soldiers Project (http://www.thesoldiersproject.org/) that originally initiated the questionnaire and concern that aided some of the boys coming back from the middle east.

What are the modalities for healing? One film I saw recently called ESCAPE FIRE (https://vimeo.com/27450676), critiquing the established medical model with its river-like flowing of pharmaceuticals, details quite extensively the use of acupuncture as a mode of healing. Other films like NEURONS TO NIRVANA (https://vimeo.com/75152295 ) have unveiled the use of MDMA (or to use its street name “ecstasy”) with psychotherapy assistance for PTSD specifically for war vets; and now there is the modality of energy medicine, or more popularly known as “tapping” (http://masteringeft.com/masteringblog/about-eft/history-of-eft/). And in some situations marijuana has been used to assist the healing of PTSD, (http://www.maps.org/research/mmj/) but government regulations are making it difficult for this modality to come to fruition.

Also, work with Council protocol [http://www.centerforcouncil.org/#!prisonreentry-video/c17nj] and spiritual weekends (http://www.ptsdspirituality.com/2011/01/11/ptsd-spirituality-understanding-and-healing-from-ptsd/) have been successful with prisoners as well as with PTSD clients in various centers that need to be unveiled and presented in a film.

It seems like the film did its job of revealing PTSD to the general audience and the trials and tribulations of vets coming back feeling depressed, fraught with nightmares, exhibiting anger issues… that often lead to divorce, lack of work, drinking too much legal alcohol or getting the quick addictive meds from the Vet’s office to take care of the symptoms and not the cause.  And I’m very grateful that they included in the documentary a woman in the military who suffered from harassment and sexual assault from her own male counterparts, so she wasnt just frightened of the war in Baghdad but also from possible attacks from male US soldiers (a documentary that speaks eloquently about this issue is The Invisible War (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10678790/Military-rape-Fighting-the-invisible-war-inside-the-Armed-Forces.html).

We need to create documentaries that clearly spell out the root of the problems, the roots being war itself and need more root solutions that can go deep into the suffering so that others who are experiencing PTSD can begin to heal. And allowing them monies to stopping war, developing a Peace Department and to radically (meaning “root”) heal the effects of such horrors of war.
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Bob Banner publishes www.HopeDance.org and screens documentaries: changing the world and ourselves one documentary at a time. He can be reached at [email protected].