MEDIA ALERT: WSRE presents “The 2 Sides Project” creators and film screening
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The 2 Sides Project connects Americans and Vietnamese who lost fathers in the Vietnam War
PENSACOLA, Fla., July 20, 2017— Margot Carlson Delogne lost her father in the Vietnam War. As she grew to adulthood, she began wondering about the children in Vietnam who also lost their parents. Her wondering led to an idea to promote healing, inspiring a nonprofit organization and the documentary film, “The 2 Sides Project.”
The WSRE Public Square Speakers series will present Carlson Delogne, along with film director Anthony Istrico and Gold Star son Ron Reyes, on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio at Pensacola State College. They will discuss their recent experiences in Vietnam and show a screening of the film.
The 2 Sides Project was created by Carlson Delogne in March 2015 to connect sons and daughters who lost fathers on opposite sides of the Vietnam War. The documentary of the same name follows the unforgettable journey of six Americans as they discovered a country and a people with a shared history and common grief.
In Vietnam, they met more than 20 Vietnamese sons and daughters whose fathers also died in the war. Directed by Istrico, the film captures these powerful encounters along with emotional visits to the sites where the Americans’ fathers died some 50 years ago.
Reyes is the son of Marine Private First Class Ronald Reyes, who was killed in Vietnam on March 30, 1968. He is one of the Americans featured in the film, and he also appears in the 2016 WSRE documentary, “They Were Our Fathers,” where he says, “I really wanted to know the real truth of what happened. Now it’s more about the legacy—what happens next; what stories are going to be told; and how important it is that we are telling these stories.”
Through the 2 Sides Project, Reyes met Luu Thi Kim Hien in Hanoi at the very first meeting of sons and daughters from both sides in Vietnam, and they discovered they had children the same age. He also met Phu Nguyen, whose father was a guerrilla fighter and fought in Cam Lo, in the same place where Reyes’ father fought.
“When you’re in this search about who is your dad, what you’re really asking is “Who am I?”, says Carlson Delogne about coping with the loss of her father. “In Vietnam, we discovered that facing the other side of the war leads to more understanding and lasting healing.”
Carlson Delogne’s goal for the 2 Sides Project is to connect more people similarly affected by the Vietnam War, and eventually by more recent wars. According to the organization’s website, an estimated 20,000 Americans and 70,000 Vietnamese lost their fathers in the Vietnam War.
The Sept. 29 Public Square Speakers Series event is being held in conjunction with PBS’ release of “The Vietnam War”—a 10-part documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. WSRE is also hosting a preview screening of “The Vietnam War” on Thursday, Sept. 7, and the series will premiere on WSRE and PBS stations nationwide Sept. 17–21 and Sept. 24–28.
“The 2 Sides Project” documentary, awarded the GI Film Festival Founders’ Choice Award in May, is currently being formatted for TV broadcast and will soon be scheduled to air on PBS member stations, including WSRE.
Admission to all WSRE Public Square Speakers Series events is free. Register online at wsre.org/speakers.
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