“IS ANYBODY LISTENING?”— Understanding Veterans


Understanding Veterans

Amos Lassen

Paula J. Caplan grew up listening to the stories her father, Jerome Caplan, told yearly about being Captain of an all-Black battery in The Battle of the Bulge. However, she did not remember these. Her inability to remember those stories bothered her and led her to listen to hundreds of veterans. She became upset with the fact that veterans’ deeply human reactions to war and rape are diagnosed as mental illness and this drove her to set up free sessions nationwide for a nonveteran to listen in wholehearted, respectful silence to whatever a veteran wants to say. This reduces  feelings of veterans’ isolation and nonveterans’ illiteracy about war and rape. In “Is Anybody Listening”, Paula takes us on her journey through interviews with veterans including Sgt. Isaac Pope — a 96-year-old man who served with her father.

The film gives us real understanding of veterans. This is a powerful and moving film that brings the non-veteran world to interact with the Veteran as a human being and gives the Veteran the chance to speak and feel safe doing so. Both sides are helped to connect.  The veterans in film enlighten the darkness.

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