Five Came Back – My Thoughts

This is not a Review!

This is: Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the series 3.5 stars out of 4, writing, “Arguably the best documentary ever made about Hollywood and wartime, Five Came Back is nirvana for movie lovers and a real eye-opener for anyone new to the subject.”

 

The 3 part mini series on Netflix, Five Came Back explores the experiences of five U.S. film directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – and their front-line film work during the Second World War, whilst enlisted into various branches of the US Military in Europe and the Pacific. I watched all 3 episodes in one sitting. The producers have then also paired 5 modern day directors and each modern director discusses the impact and legacies of one of the five earlier directors: Steven Spielberg (Wyler), Francis Ford Coppola (Huston), Guillermo del Toro (Capra), Paul Greengrass (Ford), and Lawrence Kasdan (Stevens).

I found the series fascinating, captivating and an emotional journey. Emotional, as it dragged me back to the recollections and memories, from my own experiences in War and years of work in EMS, and the mental stress and PTSD, that those times inflict on us. What they saw and how it changed them, and the reality that came rushing to meet them,  in ways they could have never conceived, impacted on their lives forever. Changing the way they saw the world and notably their creative output post the war.

The director George Stevens who before the war used to make romantic comedies never made one again in his life – and the tone of his movies changed, they were thoughtful and dramatic; Giant and The Diary of Anne Frank are two I remember seeing in the 1970’s with my mom …

But this is not a review…. back to how this series made me think and reflect …

A powerful and thought provoking moment came for me in the opening segment of the final episode (3) when, the narrator Paul Greengrass makes this (for me) very heartfelt observation:

“what is the witness that you’re giving to the world that you see out there”

I am still processing the full extent of what this means in the here and know, and how it impacts my life’s journey. The questions and thoughts I have on this are: what type of world do we see out there (as I am sure its different for many of us) and what is the image that we portray to that world. In this frenetic age of social media, where we can choose to live our entire lives in the public eye, dragging out our 15 min of fame to previously unimaginable lengths! And then how does this impact on the witness we bear and the world which we want to see?

Often we are moulded and haunted by a past, we did not always ask for, and facing an uncertain future and unknown destination. Yet even with that uncertainty staring us in the face we soldier forward. The biggest battle, at times is finding our way home or a home.

The section on PTSD of the soldiers and the 5 directors is thought provoking and raises more questions than answers, and another blog post is brewing on this subject and a short documentary film directed by John Houston. The 1946 film; Let There Be Light and its portrayal of soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder led to Let There Be Light being suppressed by the U.S. government; it was not released until the 1980s.

Let me close out with the powerful optimistic hopeful words from a Capra post WW2 film, which was a flop on its release but later became a classic:

The world is not all evil.
Yes, we do have nightmares, but we also have dreams.
We do have villainy, but we also have great compassion.
There’s good in the world.
And it’s wonderful.

Frank Capra – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

5 came back movie poster

© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

No Limits

rose petals

pressed between blank pages

bleeding out,

total commitment

to the cost

of pressing on
© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

Moving Towards Hope

heard you feeling down

show me where it hurts?

tell me your story

so, I can share your pain



I to have that feeling, again

of pain fast approaching

from where you ask?

from the chasm of my self



let me get up

to hopefully,

walk away from this pain

this is not who I am,



not numb to life,

rather alive

to possibilities
© 2019 michael d emmerich
© 2019 mikesnexus

 

hope-2

Shadows of My Mind

 skittish shadows, flirting

with the smoke filled

shadows of my mind

and still my mind burns

like cheap whisky

coursing down my throat



while the beckoning, cavernous

maw of blackness approaches

just another hungry mouth

that needs to feed

at the trough

of my existence
© 2018 michael d emmerich
© 2018 mikesnexus.com

All at Sea

alone adrift

all at sea

winds prevail and blow

endless sky

horizon lost in the blue



searching for firmer ground

white dove released

in hope

to return with what

or not at all

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

Is it Dark Yet?

shadows fall

darkness creeps

there is something coming

in the crawling dusk

we will lose the day

when the darkened veil

achingly descends




how long can we wait?

beyond this veil

nothingness awaits

when will it be rent asunder?

by whom?

and when they come

will they bring the morrow?

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

Not Yet

it's not dark yet
it's not tomorrow yet
the sun has not set yet
no need to fret yet
nothing to regret yet
you have not not broken yet
so no need to fret
.....
yet ....

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

 

Ambulance Today – Autumn Edition 2018

The Autumn Edition for 2018, has hit the shelves, its live now on Ambulance Today. Click on the link below to download and read the magazine and my article on page 41 & 42.

Clinical innovation and technology in medicine and its challenges in Africa

Ambulance Today Autumn Ed 2018 .pdf

Ambulance Today Autumn Ed 2018 – Flip Digital

The magazine’s focus is on technology in medicine:

CLINICAL INNOVATION SPECIAL: Are you getting the Right Dose of cutting-edge technology needed to improve your patient-care?

Within this Clinical Innovation Special you will find a special report from Nashville-based EMS Healthcare Solutions. One of their leading products, RightDose, offers a unique solution that takes the guesswork and calculation out of medication administration. Also well worth reading is the feature on renowned UK ambulance manufacturer, Cartwright Conversions, which highlights their continued commitment to clinical innovation within ambulance design with their very rapidly-growing and impressive range of clinically-based ambulance modifications. The article on “The use of Mechanical CPR Devices in a Pre-Hospital Setting” is a fascinating read .. amongst so many others in this edition.

To all the followers of this page, if you want to see an article written about any specific aspect of Emergency Care on the African continent, or get me to interview a key role player, drop me a mail. Equally, if you have any news items you would like us to run either in our magazine or on our daily-updated global ambulance news website please make contact.

To my fellow passionate EMS friends across the world, I trust you are enjoying this journey, as we continue to explore this fascinating continent. Till then be safe out there and stay passionate – Enjoy!

Ambulance-today1_zpszzgqa0zv

Autumn

falling leaves drifting down

colours of rust passing by

days grow short

nights become cold

winters song is calling



tis the season of life

for remembering, reflecting

taking pleasure in past abundance

a time of rest, as life wanes

or so it should be



branches are bare and twisted

pain etched across the bark

a new beauty emerges

in the quiet, new portals open

new journeys await



upon this threshold we stand

harvesting what’s left of life

and the fruits born overtime

hoping this elixir will suffice

to sustain the last leg of our journey

© 2018 michael d emmerich

© 2018 mikesnexus.com

autumn leaves

A New Writing Adventure Begins …

I am embarking on another new and exciting writing adventure. I will now be writing for Listening Through The Lens – a music site designed to promote and support roots music and performers – anything alt. country, bluegrass, soul, funk, gospel, Americana, folk or blues.

My first article will be posted this week and I will be sent (on an ongoing basis) new music to listen to and then review, how cool is that … The first review will be live by mid August, so settle back and enjoy this new journey in my ongoing quest … to just write.

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