Return to Dak To
United States, 2015, 49 min.
Five army veterans journey to vibrant contemporary Vietnam, intending to finally put their own troubled war experiences to rest. Almost inadvertently, they reveal lifelong consequences of wartime service - pride and PTSD, an indifferent public, strong bonds of camaraderie. Narrated by director (and combat medic) Christopher Upham, Return to Dak To is a lively, poignant documentary journey probing soldiers' impulses to serve and the unforeseen lifelong cost of agreeing to sacrifice for your country.
The moment I landed in Saigon in 1968, my life was altered. No longer could I see America through a simple adolescent lens of innocence about warfare and the immense social, physical, cultural, environmental and human costs of military conflict. It is time for us to heal – personally, socially, culturally – from a war that still resonates as trauma in the body politic. My own small effort was to film myself and four comrades journeying to back to Dak To so viewers could have a better understanding of what returning soldiers and their families have to face after a war.
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