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NASW Staff Watch “The Messenger”

Ben Foster, left, and Woody Harrelson star in "The Messenger." Photo courtesy of "Moving Pictures."

Ben Foster, left, and Woody Harrelson star in "The Messenger." Photo courtesy of "Moving Pictures."

Director Oren Moverman offered NASW a chance to do an advance viewing of his film “The Messenger” at NASW offices this afternoon. The movie is about soldiers who must deliver news of a death to families.

Most of the audience members were social workers. How did they feel about the film?

They thought the acting by Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster and Samantha Morton was spot on. It is also a good and timely message movie, considering the United States is still losing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and troops are returning injured and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. For more information on how social workers are helping the military click here to vist the NASW’s “Help Starts Here” section on Veterans Affairs.

“I enjoyed it — I thought the acting was phenomenal,” said Sharon Issurdatt, LCSW. “It’s a war movie but different. It shows the after effects.”

However, other social workers in the review audience said the film should have given more attention to the services provided to grieving families after the “messengers” deliver their grim news. The Department of Veterans Affairs hires more masters level social workers than any other industry, and many of these social workers provide guidance to soldiers and their families.

The movie mentioned casualty assistance officers several times but where were the military social workers, several audience members said?

“The Messenger” opened in limited theaters on Veterans Day.

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