Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Ward 54"

Italian film documents trauma of Iraq war veterans

8 September 2010 - A new documentary being shown out of competition at the Venice Film Festival explores the trauma of three U.S. war veterans who served in Iraq and how the military handled their cases.

"Ward 54," so named for the psychiatric wing of the U.S. military's Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, also deals with the rise in military suicides following Iraq duty.

The film opens with the case of Army Sgt. Kristofer Goldsmith, whose job was to photograph Iraqi war victims to identify them. Goldsmith recounts how serving his country had always been his life's dream, but it turned into a nightmare when told he would be deployed again to Iraq.

"For over a year I knew something inside me wasn't right. I was drinking close to a gallon of vodka every weekend and starting fights," Goldsmith recalled Tuesday in Venice, where "Ward 54" had been screened the previous night.

When told he had to go back to Iraq for duty, Goldsmith recalled: "I said I can't go back to Iraq. I wasn't afraid of Iraq, but knew I couldn't return." {read more}


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