HIDDEN BATTLES BLOG

“Hidden Battles” now distributed by Filmakers Library

We are very happy to announce that “Hidden Battles” will join Filmakers Library’s roster of provocative and award winning films. Filmakers Library is a leading distributor of documentaries to educational institutions and libraries around the world. We like knowing that the film will continue to have a life while we begin working on a new documentary. If you would like to learn more about our future projects, please sign up for our mailing list by clicking on the option in the menu bar.

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Voices of Art: Iraq Veterans against the War

This video profiles a bunch of Iraq Veterans based in Chicago, who use art to express themselves and help integrate their war experience into their present day lives. We’ve read and seen so many stories that  center on making art, horse and dog training, as well as gardening and farming. It seems that working with ones hands in a way that helps or creates has some kind of self nurturing power.

This video is part 2 of 2, which shows how art helps each individual. Part 1 goes into each persons background and motivation.

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“Hidden Battles” in Psychoanalytic Review

We just received our copy of The Psychoanalytic Review, wherein Robert J. Benton wrote a fantastic review of “Hidden Battles,” from the psychoanalytic perspective. The article thoughtfully desconstructs the characters in the film, as well as some it’s messages. Here is a striking passage from the article’s conclusion:

It would be tempting to end this review on an upbeat note about how the film shows us the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit. But, while that is true, the film also shows the lasting scars that war trauma leaves. These soldiers will never be completely free of their internal battles with the residue of their war experiences.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someday, however far in the future, instead of working to heal soldier’s war traumas, we might have worked enough on ourselves and our own unconscious destructive desires to be able to avoid war altogether?

Read the full article here:

“Hidden Battles” in The Psychoanalytic Review

 

 

 

 

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Zakaria Zubeidi is in prison again without cause

Zakaria, who appears in “Hidden Battles,” has been imprisoned for the second time with out cause. Years ago, Zakaria put down his guns in exchange for amnesty, and works with youth at The Freedom Theater of Jenin which he co-founded. Also the director of the freedom theater, Nabil Al-Raee has been detained for “suspicion of illegal activity.”

The Freedom Theater is a non-violent gathering place for the young people of Jenin to explore their national identity through theater. Last year, the other co-founder , Juliano Mer-Khamis, was murdered in cold blood.

Nabil is being held in a detention center that practices torture, and Zakariah gas not been given access to his lawyer.

We ask that you contact the  following officials and ask that they are released on grounds that they have not been charged with a crime. We are concerned for their health and well being.

FOR NABIL AL-RAEE:

Please contact the following Israeli representatives to demand the immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee (ID-number 906349162).

(202) 364-5500info@washington.mfa.gov.il Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.

(202) 364 5676culture1@washington.mfa.gov.il Sarit Arbell, Director of Cultural Affairs at Israeli Embassy

011-972-4-640-73-12 - Jenin District Coordination Office of the Israeli army

FOR ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI:

Please contact the following representatives of the Palestinian Authority to demand that they abide by Palestinian law in the case of Zakaria Zubeidi:

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When Artists Work With the Wounded

In the tradition of Goya and other artists that depict scenes of war, The Joe Bonham Project is dedicated to illustrating the realities of wounded soldiers.  A recent  article in the NY Times goes into detail on the many benefits of the project, one of which is that the art world is being educated on the realities of war. As one artist states “even if I don’t believe in the war or why we’re there,” he said, “I still want to know about these people who are going to war.” The work is also being viewed in galleries, exposing the reality of the wounded to art patrons and gallery owners who might shy away from stories of war.

On the flipside, the soldier is seen and heard. A few meaningful quotes from the article:

“Drawing makes people really feel seen, on an emotional plane”

“A photograph shows you what you see when you look at your reflection…you get somebody to draw you, and it’s how they see you.”

“The illustrators aren’t showing them as monstrosities. They’re showing them as people — different from the rest of society, but it’s still a body and there’s still a person there.”

“It’s important for people to really see what we go through…I have scars all over my body. I have a colostomy bag. I have one leg, and it’s only about 10 inches. This is what happens when you send young men off to war.”

The one on one communication between the artist and the soldier reminds me of my experience attending the Veteran Civilian Dialogue, hosted by Intersections International. Equal number of soldiers and civilians and soldiers sit in a room together and talk and listen to one another. Soldiers have an opportunity to be heard by a caring stranger in a way that makes it feel like the world is hearing them. You can attend the next Veterans Civilian Dialogue in NYC on Friday June 8th.

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Watch “Hidden Battles” for 99 cents in support of “Before the World Intruded” 4/25-5/3

In support of Michele Rosenthal’s book “Before the World Intruded,” we are offering “Hidden Battles” for 99 cents for one whole week! To view “Hidden Battles,” for 99 cents return to this page between April 25th and May 3rd, and purchase a stream of the film, which you will have access to for 3 days.

“Before the World Intruded” is Ms. Rosenthal’s touching personal account of surviving and living with PTSD. The book seems like the next logical step in her ongoing efforts to encourage others to be strong and find their path. By offering up her personal experience she hopes to inspire others. And it looks like it’s working: visit her website to read what people are saying about her book, read an excerpt, and buy the book! 

THANKS TO ALL WHO PURCHASED AND VIEWED THE STREAM! TO LEARN ABOUT MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE “HIDDEN BATTLES” BE SURE TO SIGN UP ON OUR MAILING LIST, OR FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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San Diego Veterans For Peace sponsors “Hidden Battles” online screening 3/30-4/1

From Friday March 30th at 7pm though Sunday April 1st at 7pm, you can watch “Hidden Battles” for only 99cents, here on this page. Come back between those times to purchase the stream, which will be available to you for three days after purchase.

Thanks to all who tuned in to watch “Hidden Battles.” If you missed it this time, join our mailing list by clicking on the link on the bottom of the page, and we will notify you when we have screenings or other online offers.

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How service dogs help can with PTSD

I know what you are thinking. Sure, a friendly pet helps alleviate stress for those suffering from PTSD or depression. That’s true, but it’s not the only way a dog can help. I was surprised when I saw this story, about an Army Ranger in South Carolina who’s PTSD is triggered when he is unsure of what is happening behind him. His dog “RC” has been trained to signal to him through body language when someone is behind him. That way, when Sgt. Roberts is with his dog, he can relax, knowing that RC will let him know what is going on, literally, behind his back.

Sgt. Roberts freely admits that RC has saved his life, and he wants people to know about how much a service dog can help. RC was trained by Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS) in Columbia, South Carolina. Thanks to PAALS for helping veterans, as well as others who can use the help of a gentle and well trained dog. To find a similar organization in your area, check out Assistance Dogs International.

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Suicide and the US Army

The number of suicides in the military is growing at an alarming rate. The military is spending $50 million on researching the potential causes of these deaths, in hopes of curbing them in the future. An article published on the Dana Foundation website tries to make sense of information gathered by over the last ten years. Here are a few things we learned:

  • The suicide rate is the same amongst soldiers that have never been deployed, have only been deployed once, and have been deployed several times.
  • A majority of the suicides in this study were considered impulsive, and TBI increases impulsiveness.
  • Only 2 or 3 suicides per year are committed by women.
  • The majority of suicides occur after a humiliating event, or while experiencing difficulties with relationships at home or work.
  • It is unclear how much physical pain and mental illness contribute to the deaths.
  • Things that help prevent suicides: removing access to guns, caring for a dog, and acupuncture.

Read the article in full by Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie here, on the Dana Foundation website. Col. Ritchie is the former psychiatry consultant to the Army Surgeon General.

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When a significant other has a brain injury

This article in the New York Times explores how a brain injury effects marriages and relationships. Unless you know someone who has suffered a brain injury you may not immediately think that this is an issue. But often times a brain injury can change a person’s personality, not just their physical capabilities and comprehension. Couples can grow apart or feel tremendous guilt due to the effects of a brain injury. This article doesn’t talk about military families in particular, but with the staggering numbers of soldiers returning with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well as other injuries it is an issue that military families face. If this is an issue you are facing in your relationship, consider seeking help from a counselor, preferably couples therapy if both of you are willing.

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