VIETNAM… through my lens:
By an Act of Congress, March 29 is NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY
In commemoration and in honor:
MHCA DOVER Cinema and Arts proudly presents the indie film, Vietnam… through my lens
Wednesday, March 29, 7:15 pm
Sunday, April 2, 4:00 pm
Admission to the shows is complimentary. Donations are welcome.
Originally a stage play of the same name, written and performed by Vietnam veteran and seasoned actor, Stu Richel, Vietnam…through my lens follows Stu’s journey as a combat journalist and photographer to, through, and beyond his military service in Vietnam. This is a soldier’s story, told by an awfully good storyteller. His command of the stage and the English language captivates the audience in a manner similar to Mark Twain. Stu’s on-stage performance was meticulously choreographed for the camera and artistically interwoven with his own war photography and that of some of his contemporaries. No blood and guts. No political statements that try to tell you why America’s involvement over there was right or wrong. Just one guy’s intensely personal perspective on the most significant period in his life.
GENESIS of the FILM (by the star and author, Stu Richel):
December, 2011. I was outside, freezing my butt off, having a cigar and a beer, and sharing thoughts with Michael Kosch, a friend and composer. Christmas party at the home of Alex Roe, Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Playhouse in Manhattan’s East Village.
The subject of Vietnam came up. I don’t remember why. I recalled the cascade of feelings I had on the day I left Vietnam. Pride, relief, excitement . . . but only after that Freedom Bird actually got off the ground, ‘cause . . . you never know. Michael was touched. “Hey, you’ve got to put that down on paper,” he said. Yeah, right.
2012. Same party, different cigar, more beer, another memory or two. Again, Michael pushed. “You’ve got to write these down. It’s important.” I guess I didn’t think so.
Same time. 2013. Different party. More stories. More “push” from Michael Kosch and actor/director Michael Hardart. suppose I needed some assurance that this wouldn’t be just a vanity piece, that the material had some intrinsic value. And, frankly, I wasn’t sure I had enough to say. “Okay. I’ll try.”
As the process of writing began, so did a good bit of soul-searching. Are my words honest? How accurate is my memory, after fifty years or so? Why did I make some of the unusual life choices about which I was writing? Do I think this script can be a meaningful part of the body of literature addressing the Vietnam War? Have I shown proper respect for the valor of so many who went over there, so many who were at far greater risk than I? (I certainly was no hero, and did not want to convey the impression that I thought myself to be one.) Perhaps most importantly, will people just plain enjoy…and be moved by the piece?
The stage play, Vietnam…through my lens, premiered in New York City in the fall of 2014. It has played in nine states to date. Reviews and public commentary have been strong and positive.
Now, the text is now being brought to life in a different and intimate dimension, Vietnam…through my lens, the film. We are pleased to present the film to a new, worldwide audience.
To those who served over in Nam and made it back, “Welcome Home.”
And may God Bless America.
Click HERE to view Stu’s description of the film.
Some photos from Stu’s time in Vietnam: