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    • Directed by: Pete Tolten
    • Released: 2023 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2022
Running Time: 66 min
Language: English, Vietnamese
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: American Studies, Physical and Mental Health Studies

RETURN is a story of adventure, vulnerability, and healing that follows Jim Markel Sr., a retired Green Beret who voyages from Montana to Vietnam for the first time since the war. 

 In retracing his steps with his adult son, he reflects on his past actions as both soldier and parent. 

Together, father and son embark on a deep search: for long-overdue family healing, for the roots of PTSD, and for the mountain tribes Markel once lived with, fought alongside, and eventually abandoned 45 years ago.            


Through the experiences of Markel Sr. — the intense mental and at times physical discomfort of the subject – the filmmakers created something that is beautiful — lucid and vivid, and yet lyrical and personal, a significant work of consciousness and a profound homage to the methodical craft of storytelling.” — The Missoulian 

The film’s verite style — no talking heads, narration or interview questions — provides an intimate portrait of post-traumatic stress disorder and also explores themes of family, aging, forgiveness and redemption. […] Despite the gravity inherent to a film dealing with PTSD and the Vietnam War, ‘Return’ deploys a warm and hopeful tone.” – Montana Free Press

About the filmmaker 


Peter Tolten

His experience in documentary films includes directing Edge of the Plains (2021) and a producer and production manager role on Makoshika (2015).






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