Purple Hearts

This documentary portrays six American veterans who were seriously wounded in the war in Iraq.

Kishore Mahbubani

In the aftermath of 9/11, America became to its own mind, a nation of heroes, as if a world full of heroes felt safer. Heroism is the password in an insecure world, the mantra we use against the dullness of ordinary life.This documentary portrays six American veterans who were seriously wounded in the war in Iraq. A portrait of six soldiers, who became heroes in their homeland, received the Purple Heart and - for some - also the US citizenship. Two of them were wounded in fire fights. One was delivering ice. Another walked off into the desert on a bathroom break and stepped on a mine. One was wounded while blowing up munitions dump. Two of the soldiers who look the least damaged are blind, far more damaged than the camera can record. What is their background? What does their life look like now? What were and what are their dreams? These soldiers became heroes, because they got wounded in a war they believed in and had to believe in. They paid a big price for their heroism. These portraits measure the gap between civilians and soldiers, the inexplicable difference between peace and war.

Director: Roel van Broekhoven
Editors in chief: Doke Romeijn, Frank Wiering