Medevac Documentary TRAUMA Released
The new Afghan War documentary TRAUMA depicts the heroism and struggles of a medevac unit in Afghanistan and their lives afterward as they deal with PTSD and other challenges.
The director of the film is Australian journalist and filmmaker Harry Sanna who was based in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2011, visiting bases in the east and south of the country. In early 2011, Sanna was embedded with the C Company Dustoff, Mountain Division, 3-10 GSAB medevac unit at FOB Shank in Logar Province, Afghanistan. Sanna intensively filmed the time he spent living and flying alongside a Blackhawk medevac platoon, capturing daily life on base and on missions and befriending the medics.
Producer Ryan Cunningham notes, “The film gives the audience an authentic and relentless first-person experience of the medics’ mission—a high-powered mix of adrenaline, dust and heroism.”
In 2014 and 2015, Sanna reconnected with the medics in their hometowns and conducted frank interviews with each of them about their memories and also their success in integrating their experiences with their new jobs and home lives. The result is a candid and often moving portrayal of those individuals that offers insight into the challenges faced by many veterans. For Sanna, the purpose of the film was always “to breathe some human complexity back into our go-to concept of a veteran.”
“The very different men and women from the medevac missions—from family types to fierce individuals, unwavering cynics, flippant jokers and staunch faithfuls—are now spread right across America from New York to Louisiana, Texas, Idaho, Washington, Alabama, and California. They’re pretty much everywhere. Whether still on military bases or in civilian life, they’ve all forged lives beyond who they were on that helicopter. And yet, they are all still there,” says Sanna.
Says Sanna, “I’ve stopped trying to make a broader, cohesive message out of my experiences there. My hope with Trauma is to simply highlight a very small but real aspect of that war, and what it is like now for those individuals.”
Sanna’s producers believe, however, that in staying true to the human details, he has documented an experience that is shared by many veterans.
TRAUMA is now available for screenings in local cinemas, campuses and community centers via the revolutionary distribution model at “Tugg” (www.tugg.com/titles/trauma). Fans, enthusiasts and educators are able to simply organize local screenings based on demand or to host charity and educational screenings.
According to producer David Gaddie, “Tugg” offers a unique opportunity to get the film to local screens. “Although we will be releasing on iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo-on-demand on January 18, we also want to give people a chance to view the film in movie theaters. The film is highly cinematic and was finished for the big screen where it is at its most powerful and moving. There’s also something special about coming together as communities, colleagues and families to watch a film like this; people are usually very moved and naturally want to discuss the film and the truths it reveals. And there is the further ability to organize benefit screenings for veterans’ charities, which we are really thrilled about.”
The film was released on January 18 on iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo-on-demand.
1. Official Website: https://trauma.film/