CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — October 11, 2016
Paladin Pictures’ EMMY® nominated film, By War & By God, was awarded Best Of Show at the Docs Without Borders Film Festival.
The documentary, directed by Kent C. Williamson, tells the powerful story of a group of Vietnam veterans who return to that beautiful country to find reconciliation and healing from the hell of war. Their new mission: to love and serve the Vietnamese people by providing healthcare to those who need it most. Docs Without Borders Film Festival Founder, Sharon Carpenter-Rose said, By War & By God “is the ultimate example of human beings giving a heartwarming ending to a heartbreaking event.” By War & By God also won the Human Spirit Award, Best Direction (Kent C. Williamson), Best Editing (James Burgess), and Viewer Impact Awards for Content, Message Delivery, and Research.
The Docs Without Borders Film Festival features documentaries and docudramas from around the globe that focus on social issues, the environment, wildlife, and human spirit stories. The winners of each festival are given the opportunity to broaden their audience through connecting with new distribution companies. This year’s festival had over one hundred entries from twenty-two countries, including Switzerland, Croatia, Cambodia, Brazil, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The group Vets With A Mission, founded in 1989, has taken over 1300 Vietnam war veterans back to Vietnam as part of their ministry of reconciliation. “What an honor it’s been to help tell the story of Vets With A Mission.” said the film’s director, Kent C. Williamson. “These heroes don’t do this work for their own glory. They do it out of love, compassion and mercy; and it springs from their faith.” To learn more about Vets With A Mission please click to VetsWithAMission.org. To learn more about By War & By God, click to PaladinPictures.com.
Paladin Pictures is committed to the creation of redemptive entertainment and thought-provoking cultural critique. Please call 434.817.2700 for interviews or comments. Please send notice of publication to Info@PaladinPictures.com
What does war do to a man? For several soldiers who survived the American combat in Vietnam, war changed them absolutely but not in the ways they could’ve ever expected.
While the Vietnam War waged for twenty years, the men who are now Vets with a Mission were irreparably changed by their service to their country. Through archival footage and the recounting of stories, these men explain what it was like to go to off seeking adventure a la Rudyard Kipling, only to watch friends fall in the midst of battle. Tortured and scarred by what they saw, several of these men refused to talk about combat, but all of them were clearly impacted.
And that’s where Kent Williamson’s documentary takes a strange turn.
Instead of being completely ripped apart by what they saw, these men, these Vets with a Mission, instead realized that they could draw each other together for a goal: to serve the people of Vietnam. But this service takes on several different ministries. First, the American soldiers sought out ways to be reconciled with Vietnamese soldiers, and second, they sought ways to improve the healthcare for the people in underserved areas of Vietnam. All of this is because they came to understood how they were called to feed the hungry or clothe the naked as they followed the leading of Jesus Christ.
While the Vietnam War is still one of the United States’ greatest tragedies, Vets with a Mission proves that triumph can come out of tragedy, that even those who have been hurt can choose how they will respond. With By War & By God, the audience is given several powerful testimonies about how the glory of God shines through the darkest times.
It’s hard not to ask yourself: are you sharing of your life and faith in a dramatic way? Are you making a difference by forgiving those who hurt you?
By War & By God is no average story. Instead, it’s the powerful way that God can change our hearts if we are passionately seeking Him. In fact, it’s a reminder that the good news of Jesus Christ can change the world.
Jacob Sahms, Contributing Writer