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photo Soldier's Heart
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.

54 minutes
© 1988
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

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Awards & Screenings

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Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website