Back in 2005, the documentary Broken Brotherhood: Vietnam and the Boys from Colgate made its North Carolina debut on Veterans Day in Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The autobiographical film by UNCW professor and filmmaker Lou Buttino addresses division and the potential for healing after the Vietnam War.
It is screening again on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at 7 pm in the UNCW Lumina Theatre, followed by a panel discussion. This event is part of The Big Read Greater Wilmington-2013.
Buttino is a documentary filmmaker and film studies professor. He has taught at UNCW for 19 years.
Broken Brotherhood recounts the path toward reconciliation between Buttino--who had been a conscientious objector during Vietnam--and his college friend, Brian O'Donnell--who became a Vietnam veteran. The two had not spoken for 35 years. The film also explores what happened to other Colgate University students during and after the Vietnam era.
In 2005, Buttino told the Seahawk:
"The idea of making this documentary came to me when I realized I had never made peace with that era," Buttino said. "I felt very wounded to see what happened to my friends, even my best friend/roommate from college [Brian O’Donnell]. Part of the reason I wanted to make this film was so that I could travel across country and talk to him 35 years later and see if we could salvage our friendship. It's a very powerful and emotional film that resonates to today."
“Films can entertain, provoke and inspire. This one is about healing. Healing can help bring wisdom. I hope we will find wisdom regarding the Vietnam War and release from the divisiveness that it inspired. Wisdom is one of the things we never got from the Vietnam War,” Buttino said.
UNCW Randall Library partners with The Big Read--Greater Wilmington in 2013.
*The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest