Pankaja’s film will be shown on big screen, during two Film Festivals in London, 11 and 20 February 2020. Here a trailer, some words from her and Rashid, and the locations.
My father was in the RAF, and there are ex-soldiers in my own family who gave me introductions to various military organisations – but I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to talk to me. I finally got in touch with Penny Connorton, a woman who runs a charity for ex service personnel suffering from PTSD, and was able to film a group of them as they spoke about their experiences.
Manus Campbell, another of the Vietnam veterans I had interviewed, suggested that I get in touch with the British branch of Veterans for Peace. They were making their own movies, but I was able to interview a couple of their members – Ba-then Shahar, who had been an officer in the Israeli army, and is now a psychologist, and Gail Croft, who joined the British Army at 17.
It takes a special kind of courage to speak out about the failings of a system that you joined with all the trust, idealism and patriotism of youth – and I am honoured that they were willing to allow themselves to be filmed.
I’d also like to share here on Osho News a couple of comments Rashid made for the magazine of one of the festivals, which I was very touched by:
There’s Adventure and Bonding, the Rush of Adrenalin, there’s National Pride and National Power and there’s the Cultural Glory. But there’s also Shame and Guilt, the Traumatised Children and Adults, Lies and the Infatuation with Power, the Tears of the Mother. In between there’s Absurdity, Ignorance and the Play of Chance.
Pankaja Brookes’ tender, piercing, neutral lens watches as the stories pour from men and women, young and old; people who have fought.
“They find it very hard to speak about these things,” says Pankaja. “I have the very deepest respect for those who were willing to talk to me.”
Upcoming screenings in London:
Filmmakers Film Fest International
at Novotel, Hammersmith, London
Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Room 2, at 1 pm
Fusion Film Festival
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Docklands, London
Thursday, 20 February 2020, Room 2, at 11.50 am
Entry is free, and open to the public. It’s good to get there early, because it’s not always easy to find the right room!
Last year, when the film came out, it won the Platinum Award 2019 from the European Screen Awards; was nominated for Best Short Documentary and Best Story at the Fusion Film Festival in Brussels, and for Scientific and Educational Award, Best Cinematography in a Documentary and Best Feature Documentary at the Film Festival International, Madrid.
Read more on Pankaja’s blog about this film: The Making of “Why We Love War”