Transporting us to the middle of a Napa Valley, California-based retreat center for PTSD-afflicted veterans of the Iraq war, we encounter some men who rage and rail against the world’s indignities. But over time, their deep humanity emerges thanks to the efforts of pioneering therapist Fred Gusman. The filmmakers gain stunning access to these fragile souls and their stories, encountering them in an uncannily intuitive way with their cameras to create a uniquely fluid intimacy as they explore themes of forgiveness, trust, and guilt – and the shame of brutal acts committed during wartime.
Laurent Bécue-Renard is a French director and producer. In 1995 and 1996 he served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Sarajevo Online and published a series of short stories called The Sarajevo Chronicles. After the conflict, he began exploring the war’s enduring impact on three widows at a rural therapy center. His documentary about them was screened at dozens of festivals and received the Berlin IFF’s Peace Film Award. Shifting his focus to young men returning from battles in faraway lands, he continues to explore war’s psychological aftermath with Of Men and War, the second installment in his Genealogy of Wrath trilogy.
Filmography: War-Wearied (2001)