In a Cambodian rainforest, a shirtless man raises his weapon. A soldier screams.
In her room, Kim Wilde toss and turns in her bed. Her husband, a soldier, pokes his hands through the blinds. A lizard crawls on her arm and a snake hisses by a tree. A drop of water falls on a soldier’s forehead.
She gets up and moves the beaded curtain inside her hut. She leans against a wooden pole. On a table, she picks up a framed photo of her husband.
In the rainforest, her husband brushes away the tree limbs and looks with his binoculars. His troop plows through the soil as they work late into the night to complete their mission. She crawls in the mud.
Back inside her hut, she hugs herself. A tarantula moves across the screen. A soldier uses his flashlight. She shields herself from the blinding circle of light. A soldier holds a red flag.
In the dining room, she sits in the chair and reads his last letter and opens a chest containing mementos from their relationship. A snake slithers on the picture frame. She sits on a rock in the rainforest, hands on both sides of her head.
She applies green and red paint to her body. A snake slithers across her legs while she lies in bed. Her face streaked with white and yellow, she stands in the forest.
While hanging curtains in their home, Kim Wilde mentioned to her husband that once he retired from the Air Force, she would like to settle somewhere in Asia. One phone call changed their lives forever. He gave her a kiss on her cheek and said he had to go to Cambodia.
He returned from the war but he wasn’t the same. Then, he disappeared altogether, stating he had to save his troop. She begged him not to leave and assured him that there wasn’t a war to fight anymore. It was over. She moved off-base but decided to live in Asia. Her family asked her to come home and told her it was okay to start over. She said she couldn’t. She wanted to be there just in case. Some days, she walked back to the base, asking if anyone had information about him. Usually, though, she walked and walked.
A decade later, back in the United States with her second husband, she stops the television channel whenever footage of the Vietnam War is shown. She searches for her husband in the film and listens to their stories. She works at the veteran’s center as a nurse. Through the men, she hopes to piece together her husband’s ordeal. So far, only man has known of him. It has strained her relationship with her second relationship. But she has to know.
Director: Brian Grant Year: 1981
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.