Of Men and War

PBS Premiere: May 30, 2016Check the broadcast schedule »

Film Update

In May 2016, POV asked Of Men and War filmmaker Laurent Bécue-Renard what's happened since the camera stopped rolling.

What has happened in the lives of the men at The Pathway Home center since the end of the film?
The men in the film continue to struggle but are living their lives with war trauma. It's a lifelong and daily battle -- and they know it's one worth fighting. We see some of their children in the film. Others have had kids since the end of filming. Being good fathers to their sons and daughters stands as a testament to their hope for a better future.

In what ways have you seen or do you hope Of Men and War will change perceptions of veterans and PTSD?
Of Men and War shows that facing postwar trauma demands as much bravery as fighting in the warzone. We hope the film will bring greater understanding of what veterans -- be it the current ones or the ones of the past, including our ancestors -- face and combat with dignity and courage on a daily basis.

How has the film been received internationally?
The film has screened to audiences all over the world, from Mexico and Turkey, to France and Russia. Viewers in every country have seen echoes of their own relatives' war experiences in what these men recount. In many ways, this international exposure has confirmed something we hoped would come across all along -- that these are universal stories about what it's like to go to war, to survive it, to come home, and to realize that nothing is the same. It dates back to Ulysses and the Odyssey -- coming back after seeing, doing, and experiencing war is a grueling journey.

How do you plan to continue using the camera for therapeutic means? What are you working on next?
My first film, War-Wearied, focuses on Bosnian widows in therapy after the men in their families are massacred by the dozens. It shows what the aftermath of war is like from a feminine perspective. Of Men and War tells the stories of men who fight. My third film in the Genealogy of Wrath trilogy will address the children who inherit something of their parents' traumatic war experiences. In a sense, this refers to all of us who grew up in the second half of the twentieth century. Directly or indirectly, we all bear the psychological consequences of what our parents and grandparents endured in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Algeria and colonial wars, the Gulf, and elsewhere. This affects how our parents and grandparents raised us and how we raise our own children. I'm still developing the project, but the camera will certainly continue to play a pivotal role in my filmmaking.