Breathe In, Breathe Out

  • 70'
  • VS
  • 2000
"Our helicopter came down in a Vietcong village. The children would always come running up to the helicopters. They'd be begging or trying to sell us things. So they started crowding in on us, and one of our guys opened fire over their heads with an M-14 to disperse them. The kids started screaming, running away, but a baby was left there crying. Just crying and crying. At first no one reacted, but you see a child, your instinct is to go and pick it up. So a group of us walked toward the child and the first guy to reach him picked him up and it was booby-trapped. When he picked it up, the baby exploded. I was knocked down by the explosion, people were wounded and killed. I remember being in a disoriented and stunned state - checking if I was wounded and in my jacket I found the baby's foot wedged there. I threw it on the ground. I was covered in its blood but I couldn't take a shower for three day a shower for three days. Then I got back from my tour of duty and started a family. When my son was born and he'd be crying I couldn't pick him up. I didn't understand till years later, why I couldn't pick him up. '. Claude AnShin ThomasBreathe In/Breathe Out follows three Vietnam veterans, accompanied by their adult children, as they journey back to the very jungles and villages where they were served. Leading us on a harrowing passage into their own memories and psyches, they relive the horrors and terrors that destroyed their youth. Alongside them, their children experience these traumatic pieces of the past for the first time, and begin to integrate them into their own histories and their relationships with their fathers.The raw, intense and often revelatory scenes of the journey, captured in a verité style, are interwoven with intimate, one-on-one interviews shot in an traditional essayistic format. Here the subjects relate and reflect upon their individual and family histories - war stories whether of Vietnam or its aftermath. Alternating between the raw danger of verité footage and the intimate security of one-on-one interviews, Breathe In/Breathe Out integrates the fragmentary and traumatic recollections of Vietnam and its aftermath, bringing both the subjects and the audience further along the process of healing. (production note)
Beth B
VS, Vietnam
IFFR 2000
Betacam SP PAL
Beth B, Chantal Bernheim, B Productions
Beth B
Beth B
Steve Hamilton