Return with Honor
With jolting intimacy, a group of former U.S. military pilots recall their experiences as POWs in North Vietnam. Their interviews are intercut with black-and-white footage of the men in captivity, and these prison-camp combat reels, which have an extraordinary, you-are-there spookiness, only heighten the tales of abuse, desperation, ingenuity, and nearly inconceivable endurance. The men, who include Sen. John McCain and former vice presidential candidate James Stockdale, were sometimes tortured for days at a time (a few literally had their arms pulled out of their sockets); within this living nightmare, they vowed to ”return with honor” by refusing to reveal American military secrets.
Directed by Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders, and presented by Tom Hanks, Return to Honor is an emotionally overwhelming chronicle of a heroism that most of us could never even imagine. You emerge shaken, with your perceptions — of Vietnam, and of war in general — permanently enlarged. A