Ward 54 (2010) 1h 3min · Documentary · 6 September 2010
Kris Goldsmith is a soldier in the US Army. On his return to Iraq he finds himself unable to deal with what he has experienced. In Baghdad his job is to photograph and classify Iraqi bodies, but when faced with the horror of a mass grave something triggers off inside him. He has nightmares and continuous flashbacks. When he goes home he is suffering from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder but nobody manages to fully grasp his desperation. Doctors diagnose severe depression, but the army orders him back to Iraq, despite his request to be discharged. During a Memorial Day ceremony, Kris attempts suicide. His is a lucid story, a denouncement of a United States ready to send soldiers to war but not willing to deal with the trauma of those who return. Kris travels across the USA to the Lucey home to visit Jeff's parents. Jeff was a Marine who killed himself when he returned home from Iraq. Jeff's father Kevin tells his heartrending story, which leads Kris back to the time when he tried to commit suicide. The stories of Kris, Jeff and the other figures of Ward 54 reveal the situation of many American families today. According to the Army Times, eighteen army veterans kill themselves every day in the USA. Despite this, many soldiers refuse to ask for help, fearing isolation or of suffering reprisals from the military administration. Kris Goldsmith has borne witness before Congress and is currently fighting a battle against the military administration, which refuses to give him an honourable discharge because of his suicide attempt. - Written by Monica Maggioni
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