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Hell and Back

Community Cinema Vashon Presents:

2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary, will be screened on Vashon. How does a soldier come home - injured physically and psychologically - and build a life anew? This April Community Cinema Vashon Event will be Co-Sponsored by American Hero Quilts and the American Legion Post #159. There is no charge to attend this film and the after film discussion, Sunday, April 15th at the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust Building 2:30-5:30.

Everyone is encouraged to come at 2:30pm to look at some beautiful individually made patriotic quilts, which have been made by Vashon quilters and people from across the country. Each month about 200 quilts are created and given to injured troops returning from war. Sue Nebeker, Executive Director of American Hero Quilts, says that giving a quilt "is like giving a "hug" of appreciation."

The 84 minute film will begin promptly at 3:00pm. U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris, 25, leads his unit to fight a real and dangerous enemy on the ground in Afghanistan. His unit provides unparalleled video footage with tiny but brilliant HD cameras. You’ve never seen footage like this before.

Wounded in battle, Harris returns to North Carolina to his young wife. He struggles through physical therapy and fights his pain. He’s left to fight his painkiller addiction and the terrifying normalcy of life at home.

Due to scenes of actual battle violence, death, imagery, and mature themes this film is recommended for a mature audience. It is - however - an important teaching moment.

The filmmaker, Danfung Dennis, says this. "Unless you have a personal connection, war is an abstraction. After nearly 10 years since the initial invasion of Afghanistan, the daily bombings and ongoing violence have become mundane, almost ordinary. It is tempting to become indifferent to the horror and pain. It is much easier to look away from the victims. It is much easier to lead a life without rude interruptions from complex insurgencies in distant lands. But when we take this easier path, the suffering becomes of no consequence and therefore meaningless. The anguish becomes invisible, an abstraction. When society becomes numb to inhumanity, horror is allowed to spread in darkness."

"Through my film I hope to shake people from their indifference to war and to bridge the disconnect between the realities on the ground and the public consciousness at home. By bearing witness and shedding light on another’s pain and despair, I am trying to invoke our humanity and responsive action. Is it possible that war is an archaic and primitive human behavior that society is capable of advancing past? Is it possible that the combination of photojournalism, filmmaking, and technology can plead for peace and contribute to this future?"

Sue Nebeker and Phil Volker, American Legion Commander, will lead a post-film discussion. Sue will share some of the experiences she has had in giving the quilts to returning troops and their families. Some people may wonder what they can do to give honor and and show support for our service men and women. We will have the opportunity to hear what others have done and of issues which affect members of our own community. Island Veterans, families and friends are invited to share in this conversation.

COMMUNITY CINEMA is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring monthly screenings of films from Independent Lens. Every month between September and May, Community Cinema brings together leading organizations, community members and public television stations to learn, discuss and get involved in today’s critical social issues. We encourage you to watch PBS-KCTS Channel 9 TV or PBS online for more excellent programs.

Community Cinema Vashon and Welcome Vashon strive to promote events which make Vashon a more inclusive community where everyone can say "I BELONG - WE ALL BELONG."

For more information, including an overview and clip of the film visit (Community Cinema Pacific NW) also or Jane Berg 567-4532,