About Film

On Moral Injury, by Chris Marvin

As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Almost Sunrise piqued my interest. As an advocate for more accurate portrayals of veterans on screen, the film drew me in. The reason I was so capture was the way the film introduced a concept unfamiliar to many Americans: moral injury. As the subjects of the film, Tom and Anthony, made their way across the country, director Michael Collins explicitly and effectively wove in both the definition of moral injury and examples of how it impacts returning veterans. Crucial to this lesson, was the differentiation between moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder—which Collins demonstrated clearly. The result of Collins’ deft use of story and language to shape the moral injury conversation offers a clear conclusion that the burden of moral injury amongst veterans rests squarely on the shoulders of American citizens. It is not a condition for veterans to handle individually or within their own insular ranks. Rather, moral injury is tied directly to the way in which our communities receive veterans as they return home. According to Collins, the focus on moral injury in the film was inspired by other works, such as David Wood’s groundbreaking book What Have We Done….

Voices of Resilience: Insight into Injury (Nov. 13th, 10PM on PBS)

Just as PTSD sprang out of the post-Vietnam era, today’s generation of veterans return home to face an invisible wound known as “moral injury” —  a new name for a condition that is as old as the dawn of battle.  Moral Injury, coined by Dr. Jonathan Shay, refers to the painful inner conflict that results from having violated one’s own code of what’s right and wrong in the line of duty.  To some, moral injury is the unacknowledged specter looming over the current U.S. veteran suicide crisis, which claims the lives of 20 individuals every day.  Some of the country’s top experts on moral injury, and well-known champions of veterans issues, share their deepest insights into the nature of this wound, why it’s so pervasive and universally stress the responsibility each of us must bear in helping those who have seen war make meaning of their experience.   Voices of Resilience follows the struggles of a diverse group of veterans, that of a young man from Colorado, and a young couple in Saipan, one of many remote islands in the Pacific, where enlistment rates tend to soar higher than any other community in the U.S. population.  Ultimately, Voices offers inspirational examples of veterans who…

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