“Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If Veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again.”  
– Thich Nhat Han

Screened in three distinct programs throughout Memorial Day weekend, Veterans Journey Home is a five-film cycle by Bay Area filmmaker Frederick Marx, one of the artists behind Hoop Dreams and the director of Journey from Zanskar. This series is a heartfelt and compelling group of unique, stand-alone documentaries that examine the current conditions and challenges that many hundreds of thousands of returning American servicemen and women face to reenter and readapt to the families, towns, and the society they left in heeding the call to service for their country.

The sheer number of returning servicemen and women experiencing dislocation today is overwhelming. The number of crisis incidents is staggering: unemployment, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, suicide. But to the superficial eye, all too often those wounds are invisible.

In his new series, filmmaker Frederick Marx addresses these challenges through the stories and experiences of his subjects, all ex-military men and women who struggle with internal demons. Marx asks hard questions and offers solutions, suggesting that all of us need to take a new look at how the journey back home is completed. Like reverse boot camp, it involves new rituals to help Veterans complete their unfinished rite of passage. They served us; how can we better serve them and, in the process, serve ourselves?

Director Frederick Marx will be in attendance at all three shows, along with subjects from the films and guest experts on PTS and ritual healing.

ADMISSION: $12.50 General  |  $9. Senior • Youth • Matinée  |  $7 CFI Members

TRIGGER WARNING!
Although these films contain minimal actual war footage, they might trigger you, especially if you have served in the armed forces and have PTS or Moral Injury. That said, the purpose of these films is to help people heal from these and related symptoms. Our understanding, based on science, is that if trauma can be discussed openly and transparently it can be healed.

HEALING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

COMING SOON

In Ben’s Story (2021), a former Army paratrooper and sniper, challenged by suicidal ideation, divorce, and alcoholism, fights to reconnect with his family and resume a place of leadership in civilian society. In Kalani’s Story (2019), a Marine captain experiences transformation through emotionally authentic healing circles. Films 83 minutes plus discussion.

SPECIAL GUEST:

DJ SKELTON – Former Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

HEALING SEXUAL TRAUMA & MORAL INJURY

COMING SOON

In Solutions (2019), the philosophical underpinning to the entire five-part series, the greatest minds undergirding work with Veterans spotlight best practices in community-based, non-medicalized solutions for Veterans returning home. In On Black Mountain (2021), 22 women Veterans transform through a four-month meditation and mindfulness-based healing retreat. Films 70 minutes plus discussion.

SPECIAL GUESTS:

LEE LESSER – Founder, Veterans Path; Key Participant in both films SOLUTIONS and ON BLACK MOUNTAIN
FREDDE LEE – Participant, ON BLACK MOUNTAIN

GROWTH BEYOND TRAUMA

COMING SOON

Leaving It on the Land (2020) studies transformation for a cohort of Veterans who struggle with suicidal ideation as they undertake an ancient 12-day fasting ceremony in the Coulee desert region of Washington. Alone for four days and nights with no contact with the outside world and minimal shelter, our four key subjects record private conversations and reflections on GoPro cameras. Their challenging journey leads them to a clearer sense of who they are and where they belong as civilians. Film 80 minutes plus discussion.

SPECIAL GUESTS:

MARK ORAVSKY – Founder Veterans Rites, Key Participant, LEAVING IT ON THE LAND
RYAN MIELCAREK – Co-Founder Veterans Rites; Participant LEAVING IT ON THE LAND
JASON LESSER – Composer