For Immediate Release
January 8, 2009
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Brockport, NY – The College at Brockport associate professor of social work Kenneth Herrmann and students in the College’s Vietnam study abroad program are featured in the film Making Peace With Vietnam, a documentary recently named an “official selection” of the Third New Beijing International Movie Week film festival.
The film has been called a thoughtful exploration of the lingering consequences of America’s war in Viet Nam and an examination of the ongoing challenges of reconciliation and will be show in Beijing between February 28 and March 8.
Herrmann and students in the The College at Brockport’s Vietnam Program in Danang program are featured in a section of the film called "Going Back," which focuses on the stories of three vets who returned to Vietnam to do humanitarian work. The film includes interviews with Herrmann and in-depth coverage of the Brockport students who are filmed saving the life of a very sick and disabled child, serving lepers at the leper colony in Danang, assisting the elderly in a nursing home, and engaging 30 disabled kids at a respite program for Agent Orange disabled children.
“Herrmann's work differs from that of the others in that he engages in direct aid. He and his students form a personal connection with the people they serve. We tried to show this in the film,” said the film’s producer Steven Emmanuel, PhD, a professor of philosophy at Virginia Wesleyan University
The feature-length documentary, shot in Vietnam during May and June 2007, focuses on the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the work of a handful of Americans and Vietnamese who have dedicated their lives to healing the wounds of the War. The theme, says Herrmann, is one of enhanced Buddhism – making peace with yourself in order to make peace with the war. “I think it’s the best post-Vietnam War documentary made on the effects of the war on both sides of the conflict,” he adds.
The College at Brockport’s Vietnam Program in Danang was established in 1998 and offers classes in language, culture, politics, and history from professors who also teach at Danang University, Duy Tan University, and The School of Politics. Students also perform community service at a variety of locations including a group home for disabled children, a nursing home, teaching English to local students, etc. For more information about The College at Brockport’s study abroad program in Vietnam, go to www.brockportabroad.com/programs/vietnam/index.html. You can learn more about the New Beijing International Film Week at www.beijingfilmfest.org/.
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