Jeri Jacquin

Tonight at the GI Film Festival San Diego playing at Village theatres in Coronado is filmmakers Christopher Upham’s piece RETURN to DAK TO.

This documentary tells the untold war story about the end of the Vietnam War. Ordered six hundred American soldiers by President Nixon to fight a 61-day siege, half of the men were lost. Returning to the United States, three hundred men went back to civilian life.

Forty years later there are five men who have not resolved what happened and the after affects in their lives. Returning to Dak To is the only way they can come to terms with themselves and each other.

This is truly an intense look at the lives of these brave men who are now able to tell the story of what happened during that 61-day siege. Part of having the opportunity to cover the GI Film Festival is the difficulty in keeping my emotions in check. There is absolutely no way to view these pieces and not be affected to the core.

Such is true with RETURN to DAK TO because these men have allowed cameras to follow their journey and let us listen to very personal stories. Every emotion is raw and genuine and when telling of history is extremely important for their healing and our understanding.

Collaborating with Upham is Paul Saltzman, Ellen Perry, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, Tom Schlesinger, Hisham Bizri and playwright John O’Keefe. This is Upham’s directorial debut and choosing such an intense historical subject matter proves that this filmmaker has the unique ability to bring the audience into a story that needed telling.

RETURN to DAK TO is only one of the incredible documentary’s and films that are at the GI Film Festival San Diego. For more of what they have to offer please visit

Join us in helping to celebrate the stories and the filmmakers who share the history of America’s military and those who serve. From film screenings, panel discussions, and family movie night, it is a festival that highlights San Diego’s military culture.