Screening will be followed by Q & A with Emmy Award Winning Director Michael Jorgensen.
Embarking on a routine missionary trip, veteran Tom Faunce is blindsided when he returns to Vietnam – and discovers a man claiming to be an MIA (missing in action) vet surviving in the jungle for decades. 40 years after the war that radically altered his life as a young man, Tom never imagine he’d return to the place that stripped him of innocence – to save a man left behind.
Hollowed by a traumatic, orphaned childhood and two terms in an unimaginable war, Tom was dangerously adrift until a spiritual intervention left him suddenly ‘set free’. Overnight he shifted from being a drug-addicted vet, who slipped in and out of jail, to a man who had found God and a calling. Dedicating his life to serving the underprivileged – Tom became a three-decade missionary, traveling to the most hostile places in the world with no plan, only supplies, to help ravaged villages and the people plagued by war, neglect, and hopelessness.
Recently, after passing through Vietnam for further missionary work, Tom encountered a local priest who informed him that a ‘man like him’ had been living in the jungles: an ‘American.’ Riveted and baffled by this claim, Tom was taken to a male who appeared to be surviving in the wild. A former ‘vet’ or so he claimed. John, the man in question, confessed he was a part of a covert military unit until his helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. Captured by a Viet Cong woman and nursed back to health after severe head trauma, John has not left the jungle since his capture in 1968. His head injuries have caused him to lose his ability to speak English and a form of dementia has clouded many of his earlier memories. Claiming to have a family still back in America, John begs Tom to help him return home – to a country and a world that he has not been part of for forty-three years. Astounded that any man could have survived so long under such conditions Tom’s ingrained belief to leave 'no man behind' kicks in. He’s driven to unravel the truth – and bring this forgotten soldier home.
Back in America, Tom digs up John’s past. He contacts John's separated family, Prisoners of War organizations, and the military itself only to be shocked by the abrupt refusals to help. Claims that the real John was ‘killed in action,’ that whomever Tom met in the jungle must be an impostor force Tom deeper and deeper into the potential deception. Is John who he says he is? Why has his own family in America stopped looking for him? Why is the military so resistant to helping? Unsure of the man’s true identity, Tom plans a trip back to Vietnam to retrieve DNA and orchestrate a return strategy for the lost solider. Determined to uncover the truth, Tom stops at nothing to save his potential brother in arms.
'UNCLAIMED' is a full-length documentary that follows one vet on a mission to bring a fellow soldier home while simultaneously repairing the emotional scars left by his own painful abandonment.
For more information please visit www.belairfilmfestival.com.
When & Where
Bel-Air Film Festival
2014 Seventh Annual Bel-Air Film Festival Presented by A2E Family Partnership. October 7th-12th. For more information please visit www.belairfilmfestival.com.