Thursday, April 9, 7:30 PM
Opening Night Film
VIETNAM APPRECIATION DAY
(2015, 76 min, Dir. Patrick Bresnan + Ivete Lucas)
Special “Work In Progress” Screening
BUY TICKETS ($10 advance, $12 door)
The 2015 CFF will open with a very special “work in progress” screening of locally produced documentary VIETNAM APPRECIATION DAY! The film’s subjects and crew will be in attendance and the screening will be followed by a live celebratory USO variety show!
Young uniformed men steal their way through an exotic jungle landscape—guns at the ready, planes flying ominously overhead, the palpable threat of death lurking behind each lush canopy of leaves. For some this popularized image of the Vietnam War is a scene of bold heroism worth emulating, while for those who lived through it, it’s a reminder of a collective nightmare worth forgetting. These divergent views, and attendant matters of memorial, militarism and masculinity, reside at the provocative, poetic heart of VIETNAM APPRECIATION DAY.
At the emotional center of this quagmire is 23-year-old Bubba. The descendant of a line of military men, Bubba has long dreamt of being a soldier, but his physical size and mental health have precluded this reality. Bubba finds camaraderie and validation among a group of war recreationists who mobilize the first public Vietnam War reenactment in Philadelphia. This inaugural event is envisioned as a spirited tribute, enlivened by historical displays, staged battles and a USO show hosted by a Bob Hope impersonator, but becomes a switch point for questions of realism, violence and taste, as the violent reenactment unintentionally reignites the Vietnam vets’ past traumas. Filmed in the Philadelphia and Reading areas, VIETNAM APPRECIATION DAY is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.
Prior to the screening will be a special presentation of the short film HALF LIFE OF WAR by acclaimed independent filmmaker Kyle Henry.
Synopsis: Over 30 wars and 1.5 million dead soldiers are memorialized at sites across the United States. How many of us see the radioactive trace of these past conflicts? What is the best way to remember the trauma of war?