Hidden Wounds

  • Tomas Kaan, Arnold van Bruggen
  • Netherlands
  • 2013
  • 8 min
  • Linear
  • World Premiere
  • Panorama
"Redemption isn't coming soon / I am stuck here with these hidden wounds / All the things they make me do." Tom Barman, the lead vocalist for Belgian band dEUS, sings these words with a deep sadness in his voice. The song is not about himself, but about the many ex-soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2010, Barman read an article in The Guardian about the life of a British veteran. After his discharge, Jimmy Johnson divorced his wife, hit the bottle, and then killed a man while having a panic attack. He is by no means an exception: more soldiers are now dying because of their war traumas than on the battlefield itself. This subdued video interweaves Johnson's tragedy with restrained portraits of fellow sufferers, from young to old, who served in the Second World War, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Sometimes they are visibly scarred, but the real wounds are hidden behind their eyes. Barman's song is intercut with their words, and they leave little room for the imagination: "What is war like? The old cliché: war is like hell" And, "It's a little bit like playing Russian roulette every day." Those who want to hear the complete horror stories can visit the interactive version of the clip, which has been selected for the IDFA DocLab Competition for Interactive Documentary.


  • 8 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Tomas Kaan, Arnold van Bruggen
Arnold van Bruggen for Prospektor
Executive producer
Eefje Blankevoort for Prospektor
Daniel Bouquet
Maurik de Ridder

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