HERE. IS. BETTER. Documentary Film on PTSD

HERE. IS. BETTER. Documentary Film on PTSD

HERE. IS. BETTER. is an award-winning  documentary film with unprecedented access inside therapy sessions of men and women Veterans battling posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

A soldier’s story is always personal, but never more than in HERE. IS. BETTER. This powerful feature length documentary offers a uniquely hopeful and impactful perspective on a rising mental health crisis in America. Every year, nearly 13 million adults suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the U.S. alone. Veterans are up to three times more likely to have PTSD than civilians.

HERE. IS. BETTER. follows four of these Veterans, each with diverse backgrounds and service experience, as they undergo the most clinically effective, evidence-based trauma psychotherapies for PTSD. Individuals featured in the film include former presidential hopeful Jason Kander, who shocked many when he left the Kansas City mayoral race in 2018 to seek treatment; a Vietnam War Veteran still haunted by events that occurred over 50 years ago; and the voices of so often overlooked women Veterans, all seeking the keys to unlock their places of hurt and pain. 

With unprecedented access to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, HERE. IS. BETTER. interweaves these inspiring stories of men and women Veterans overcoming the debilitating effects of PTSD with treatments that can work, bringing hope to millions. 

Not Rated/ 95 Minutes/ Feature Documentary (USA)

Dominic Patten of Deadline Hollywood called the documentary: “One of the most moving films I have seen in years, documentary or otherwise.”

Director’s Statement

As we edited HERE. IS. BETTER. during the height of the pandemic, the unspoken counterpoint to the narrative on screen is the universal trauma the world has gone through and how those themes are amplified in the documentary — the loss, the isolation, the stumbling back to normalcy, all impacted by the scars of our collective experience. The film principally interweaves the stories of 4 Veterans — 2 men and 2 women — whose wartime and life experiences couldn’t have been more different. John served in Vietnam as a door gunner; Teresa drove convoys in Iraq; Jason was a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan; Tabitha served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a welder and a member of the ‘Lioness’ program. Their willingness to tell their stories — to be heard for a common purpose — is one of the great gifts of making this film, and I only wish we could have featured all of the remarkable Veterans we have met along this journey.Though John, Teresa, Jason and Tabitha all differ in age, background, and the types of trauma they had been through, there was nonetheless something universal across their shared experiences. They all desired a greater connectedness with family, friends, or others in their communities, but did not know how to get it back. As Teresa says early in the documentary, something was left in the desert, and she didn’t want to go back to find it. It was easier and less complicated just to let it stay there. Putting those pieces back together, the restoration of these lives, is a key pillar of the film: a sense of self had somehow been lost that they so desperately wanted to get back and make whole again.Through their personal stories, the film seeks to bring understanding to how we collectively respond to trauma, to what a PTSD diagnosis means, and how PTSD can impact daily life, far removed from a military setting. The film does not seek to be prescriptive, but instead highlights how the right fit of trauma therapies and other support systems can help transform darkness into light. This film is meant to help Veterans who have experienced trauma, but also to help audiences who may be experiencing the aftermath of any devastating event – whether they served in the military or not – and are unable to find a path forward. During the film’s festival run, the universal nature of these stories became abundantly clear – we heard from countless first responders, therapists, front line workers and others who all shared how deeply moved they were by the honesty of the film and their belief in its power to change lives. As the world still grapples with the collective trauma of the pandemic, the need for effective mental health treatment — free from stigma — is more important than ever. This film is a starting point for that critical conversation. HERE. IS. BETTER. illustrates how the seemingly impossible mission to heal may become possible as John, Teresa, Jason, and Tabitha choose to face each day with the bravery to seek help and the hope of what help can bring. I am honored that they put their faith in us as a team to get their stories out in the world.–Jack Youngelso

WHO

HERE. IS. BETTER. is directed by Emmy Award-winner Jack Youngelson, produced by Emmy Award-winner Sian Edwards-Beal and David Beal of Green Hummingbird Entertainment, and co-produced by Chloe Hall. The film is edited by Karen K. H. Sim with cinematography by Daniel Carter. It features a score composed by David Baron and Jeremiah Fraites of the GRAMMY-nominated band The Lumineers, an original song by Josin, and an original end credit song by David Kushner and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers.

ABOUT GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT 

Founded in 2017, Greenwich Entertainment is an independent film distribution company specializing in distinctive, theatrical-quality narrative and documentary features. Past Greenwich releases include the arthouse hits Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice from Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; Andrew Slater’s Echo in the Canyon; Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy; and Madeleine Olnek’s Spirit Award nominee Wild Nights with Emily starring Molly Shannon.  In 2018 Greenwich’s theatrical release of National Geographic’s Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo by Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s earned $17 million in North American box office.  Greenwich is led by an experienced management team that has overseen more than 200 theatrical releases generating over $125 million at the US box office and garnering 8 Academy Award Nominations and 2 Oscar Wins. www.GreenwichEntertainment.com

WHEN
June 27, 2023
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HERE. IS. BETTER. will be released theatrically in New York (The Quad) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Santa Monica) on June 23, with a VOD release on all major platforms in the US and Canada to follow on June 27
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