The Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series returns for its seventh year of confronting the social stigma and real-world problems of those battling mental illness, addiction, and brain disorders, and the 2015 installment kicks off on Tuesday, May 5, with director Sara Nesson's intense "Poster Girl." This Academy Award-nominated documentary puts an unexpected face on combat vets coming home with PTSD and explores the difficulties they face in moving forward with their lives.
"They took an American apple-pie cheerleader and they pretty much crushed her," her Veterans' Affairs advocate says of Robynn Murray, who left for Iraq in 2003 as an idealistic teenager and came back shattered by panic attacks, nightmares, physical problems, and raw guilt. Neeson wisely just turns on the camera and lets Murray share her story, her halting voice recounting life-or-death scenarios all in the name of so-called freedom. It's heartbreaking to see Murray lose control of her emotions, but watching her find strength and regain her sense of self provides much-needed hope for Murray -- a special guest at Tuesday's screening -- and others who served our country.