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Friday, June 1, 2012

WWII Film Focused On PTSD - "Let There Be Light"

English: Studio publicity still of film direct...John Huston
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you ever go through a box of old photos or home movies? Sometimes when you look closely at these "treasures" you are able to learn more about what life was like many decades ago. You might even learn of some "closely held secrets." You may see photos or film of an uncle, aunt, parent or grandparent you never knew.

Monday was Memorial Day. A day when United States citizens honor all who have served in our military, remembering particularly those who died in battle or as a result of a battle injury. There were many stories of veterans covered by the media outlets and some of those stories focused in on our active military and retired military who now suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We have talked about PTSD here on our blog. 


In all of the news coverage this week, we came across a very interesting story that was carried on MSNBC.com Entertainment. The headline read: "Can World War II Film Long Hidden By The Army Aid Today's Veterans?"

We invite you to read the full story. It tells of a 1946 short film created and directed by John Huston. The name of the film was "Let There Be Light." The subject? It was what we now refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the article:
"Some soldiers in the film suffered visible tics, shook uncontrollably, stuttered badly, and in worse cases, couldn't walk or talk due to their wartime experience. Others appeared fine externally, but were battling nightmares, memories of combat, and other issues."
We learned that the film was suppressed until 1980.  And now it has been restored by funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation and for the next three months you can freely view the whole film here.

Today society is more open about discussing mental health issues and what are often co-occurring disorders like addiction. But for some reason many who suffer from PTSD and addiction "still struggle with acceptance and treatment issues" according to Ron Honberg, director of policy and legal affairs for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

We invite you to view a short news clip from MSNBC.com.

Let there be light...
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