A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
An interactive version of a subdued video about the lives of war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Redemption isn’t coming soon / I am stuck here with these hidden wounds / All the things they make me do.” Tom Barman, the lead vocalist with Belgian band dEUS, sings these words with a deep sadness in his voice. But he’s not singing about himself. The song concerns Jimmie Johnson, a British war veteran who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The faces of Johnson and his fellow sufferers pass by in sober portraits that are as haunted as Barman’s voice. From young to old, these veterans served in the Second World War, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Some have physical scars, but the real wounds are hidden behind their eyes. The viewer clicks on icons that appear onscreen to hear their painful and shocking testimonies. “What is war like? The old cliché: war is like hell.” And, “It’s a little bit like playing Russian roulette every day.” Elsewhere on this website that accompanies the video clip of the same name, there are complete interviews with former soldiers who have been marked for life. Apocalypse Now encapsulated it perfectly: “The horror! The horror!”
IDFA DocLab is the New Media program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Since 2007, the program showcases new forms of documentary storytelling and interactive media art, both online and offline. During the IDFA Festival in November, DocLab presents a competition program for Digital Documentary Storytelling, live cinema events, interactive installations, workshops and industry panels. The program is open to all media that can be used to tell a documentary story.