Despite the disparity of the material that is covered during Wartorn 1861-2010, the film unites the different actions through the sheer effect that they have on the people that fought them. While the idea of post-traumatic stress disorder is a relatively new one, the symptom has been present in the warrior’s mind throughout the time period covered by Jon Alpert here. The most interesting information obtained in this documentary has to be the data coming from the Civil War, which traces back PTSD all the way back to the 19th century.
While the scope of the film does not allow for testing beyond that, the message that I took from this documentary is that soldiers have and will always be at risk for this injury. For subsequent efforts in this vein, I would have to ask that there be some focus on earlier time periods or different area, to compare the situations of soldiers from different countries. There seems to be more of a focus on the effect that PTSD has on individual cases, but there seems to be a better sense of how effecting PTSD is on the wider community. While it is tremendously harmful for the average individual, it seriously impacts that individual’s friends and family.
The documentary may be a little hard to watch due to the graphic happenings that are described, but I feel that viewing is required to show American citizens exactly what they are getting their family, neighbors, and other acquaintances into. Check out Wartorn 1861-2010 today; there are a number of different citations and mentions that will be able to further flesh out a viewer’s understanding about how PTSD impacts the individual, the family, the community, and even the whole of society.
Wartorn 1861-2010 (DVD) / 2011 HBO Home Video / 67 Minutes / http://www.hbo.com