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In honor of National PTSD Awareness Day (coming up this month on the 27th) we’re launching our awareness campaign with an interview with actor and film director, Sam Jaeger (who also stars in Parenthood and American Sniper). Sam wrote, directed and starred in Plain Clothes about a police officer with PTSD. Jaeger made this film in honor of his brother who is a cop.
I asked Jaeger a few questions about the film…MR: What inspired you to make this film and why is it important to you? SJ: I was having a conversation with an officer I’m close to, and realized there was something there that hasn’t been shared much. We’re well aware of soldiers and PTSD, but what about those who see the horrors of crime and yet go home at the end of every day? How does that eat away at the other side of life? Can a person shake that off so that it doesn’t impact his or her family? Those were compelling questions to me.
MR: What are you trying to say as a filmmaker; what’s the primary message of Plain Clothes? SJ: For me it’s about our essential need for connection. At the end of our lives, we don’t think back on work, whether we carved out enough overtime to get that raise. We think about the impact we’ve had on our families, and vice versa. With a job as demanding as law enforcement, it’s hard to keep that in focus when dealing with the grim realities of our society. And yet it remains the most important thing.
MR: What do you hope Plain Clothes will accomplish/contribute to the trauma and PTSD world? SJ: With any suffering, the more it’s discussed, the less alone the sufferer feels. My hope is that “Plain Clothes” is shared, that it becomes part of a conversation. When we don’t feel shame about the things that occupy our thoughts, they lose their potency. The hope is that talking about PTSD becomes a necessary and healthy part of serving. The hope is that our film becomes irrelevant.
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