Reflection: My love/hate relationship with war dramas

I have a love / hate relationship with war dramas. I love them because I could relate to them… I hate them because I could relate to them.


Well to start, later this week I will be going to see the Opening Night of “Full Circle” out in Wheaton Drama. Typically because of my bias towards war dramas I wouldn’t go, but since so many people I know personally were a part of the production, it would be a shame not to go.

So as is typically for me I started thinking of how to start my inevitable post of my thoughts of this particular show when it dawned on me…

I would not be able to create a completely unbiased opinion about a war drama. There is simply no way. It is not possible…

Why is that?

Because I am too close. Sure I may be a generation off, but by all respects I am technically too close to the emotions and lasting effects of what a war can do to a family, to a person, to a community that my expections for a war drama on stage (and don’t get me started about films) are crazy.

All this began sometime last year when I was hanging out with my grandparents and they were watching films from the old country. I didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying, but I understood the emotional capacity… it was then that bit by bit the story of my grandparents (and their kids) escape from the old country to the United States.

The fear, the loss, the pain, the anguish… you name it, they were all there.

They told me about the initial escape, moments of where they had to stop… and bits and pieces of the journey.

Granted I had a feeling that a fair chunk of it was watered down because either they didn’t want to remember, or they didn’t want to scare me with details… but that journey became the defining moment as to the course that family would take before I even existed.

Over the past decade or so I have heard stories from my parents, their friends, my aunts and uncles about various escapes… who fled and when, whose life were in shambles and whose managed to stand the test of time (because there was almost a decade of complete excommunication between the U.S. and the old country).

When relations came to the U.S. to visit our families I heard additional stories of how life was and what happened after “The Fall”. Many of the stories haunt me because it could very easily have been my own in those situations as opposed to just someone we knew.

Sometime last year, my sister texts me to ask approximately when our parents were born. When I gave her a rough guesstimate she replied:

“Then they only knew war all their lives.”

Yeah that pretty much sums it up, the Americans involvement was far less than the involvement of the natives…

The aftermath of “The Fall” was the surge of sending “war criminals” to “re-education camps” which to me is the equivalent to a Nazi “concentration camp”… Don’t believe me? You don’t have to… but some of the stories that I know of from a re-education camp is enough to make my blood go cold.

So over the years I have built up a massive wall to keep my over-active imagination from going into overload with a series of “what-ifs” and when a war drama creeps up, I build the wall even higher and thicker so as to not feel the non-existent shadows of the past.

Yeeeeaaaaah… I have a love / hate relationship with war dramas and being completely objective and non-bias in my review of “Full Circle” is going to prove to be very difficult for me to follow through on, but that doesn’t mean that I am not going to try.

Leave a Reply