Powerful Movies, Powerful Memories: Viewing Advice for Family and Friends of Military Members

Movies such as the “The War Tapes” and the HBO special “Baghdad ER” have received critical acclaim for their moving portrayals of our servicemen and women. If you have a loved one who is deployed to the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan or one that may soon deploy, you are probably both interested in and worried about watching such movies. While these films highlight heroism and action, they also graphically depict the ravages and anguish of war. Viewing these films may stir powerful emotions for both military members and their families. These emotions can range from sadness, worry, fear and anxiety to actual pain and flashbacks. Military psychiatrists, alert to the possible effects of such viewing, have prepared this fact sheet to help answer questions such as: Should we watch? If so when, and with whom?

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