To Hell and Back Again

Viewers of Hell and Back participating in an art therapy exercizeLast Thursday SIUE’s Art Therapy Counseling Program teamed up with the Missouri History Museum, Channel 9, and The Missouri Art Therapy Council for a special screening of, “Hell and Back Again,” a documentary showing the problems faced by Afghanistan veterans both in the field and at home. The event is part of Channel 9’s Community Cinema event series, a monthly sneak preview screening of programs scheduled for their Independent Lens series.

The film, directed by Danfung Dennis, follows the story of Sgt. Nathan Harris both in the field and through his recovery after being wounded in action. The piece tells the two stories simultaneously flashing forward and backward between footage of his deployment in Afghanistan and his life after returning home.

One of the goals of the Community Cinema events is to provide meaningful discussion and reflection after the screenings, and for this screening SIUE’s own Patricia “Gussie” Klorer organized the post screening activities. These included the decorating of post cards to be shared with service men, as well as a graffiti table, and the presence of 25 local art therapist as discussion moderators.

“I sent out an email for twenty seven art therapist thinking I’d get five or ten and every one of them wanted to volunteer for this event,” Klorer shared, “I think people just really appreciated what the museum was trying to do.”

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