Documentary, ‘BRATS: Our Journey Home,’ to be shown at CSUSB Jan. 13

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The phrase “military brat” brings to mind images of children of soldiers and sailors who moved around from place to place as a parent was transferred from one duty station to the next, rarely setting down roots, barely getting to know people their own age.

A documentary, “BRATS: Our Journey Home,” sheds some light on that aspect of military life, and will be shown at Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, Jan. 13, at 5 p.m. in University Hall room 106. The movie is free and open to the public; parking at the university is $6.

Those who grew up in a military family, veterans, those currently serving in the military and current military dependents are especially invited to attend.

After the screening, there will be an opportunity for the audience to share their impressions and reflect on their own personal experiences.

“It’s hard to imagine a military BRAT’S childhood,” says a synopsis of the film. “Moving from base to base around the world, they are at home everywhere — and nowhere. There are 2 million children being raised in the military today. An estimated 15 million Americans are former BRATS. They include singers Pink and Lionel Richie, author Suzanne Collins (of the “Hunger Games”), basketball star Shaquille O’Neal and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, actors Julianne Moore, Robert Duvall, and Neil Patrick Harris, and many more.

“‘BRATS’ is the first cinematic glimpse into a global subculture whose journey to adulthood is a high-octane mixture of incredible excitement and enormous pain,” the synopsis adds. “Make no mistake — ‘BRATS’ is not about the U.S. military — it’s about their children, who grow up in a paradox that is idealistic and authoritarian, privileged and perilous, supportive and stifling — all at the same time. Their passports say ‘United States,’ but they’re really citizens of the world.”

The film is narrated by singer Kris Kristofferson, himself a military brat, and includes interviews with the late Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and military brat author Mary Edwards Wertsch.

The film showing is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities “Dialogues on the Experience of War” grant, which Cal State San Bernardino received in 2016.

Under the direction of Jennifer Andersen, CSUSB professor of English, the grant is being used for the project, “From Ancient Greece to the Contemporary Middle East: Dialogues on the Experience of War.”

The program includes readings, viewings and discussions on classical literature and the Greek-Trojan wars in dialogue with letters, articles, literature and documentaries about more recent conflicts. Events have been held at CSUSB, San Bernardino Valley College and the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.

A trailer for the film can be viewed at “BRATS: Our Journey Home — Trailer.”

Also, visit the CSUSB “Dialogues on the Experience of War” grant website for more information on its programs.

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