Tells the dramatic story of Dr Charlie Clements’ journey from pilot in Vietnam to doctor behind rebel lines in El Salvador. Charlie Clements was the “right stuff”, top in his class at the Air Force Academy and headed for a distinguished career when his conscience caught up with him and he refused to fly any more missions. Stripped of his military identity by the Air Force, he built a new life dedicated to non-violence and healing.
Twelve years later as the war in El Salvador escalated and the US government despatched the first advisers, it all sounded too familiar to Dr Clements and in March 1982 he entered El Salvador with 75 pounds of medical supplies in a backpack. He stayed one year, treating everything from post-partum anaemia to burns caused by white phosphorous rockets, working in an area that was bombed almost daily by the same planes he had flown in Vietnam. Using rare footage of the bombing of South East Asia and powerful documentary material from Al Salvador, the film provides vivid historical background to Clements’ personal transformation. Meticulously researched and beautifully crafted, Witness to War lets us all participate in this remarkable odyssey of conscience.
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