Segments in this Video

Introduction: Is Anybody Listening? (01:55)


Paula Caplan describes her father and his ability to listen. She reflects on listening to veterans to better understand their lives.

War Veteran (03:55)

During WWII, Caplan's father captains the 969th Field Artillery Battalion; they earn the Presidential Citation for Meritorious Service. Caplan reflects on hearing her father's war stories and the "epidemic of disconnection." Combat veterans are 1% of the U.S. population.

Military Service Memories (02:53)

Combat veterans reflect on deployment and their willingness to talk about events. Nehru Harper cites an honorable discharge for homosexuality.

Psychological Changes (03:55)

Soldiers experience culture shock when transitioning from civilian life to military life and back. Dr. Kathy Platoni cites mistaken beliefs veterans and non-veterans have about one another. Veterans discuss why they joined the military and stereotypes.

Trauma vs. Mental Illness (03:54)

Caplan's blogs about veterans receive fewer readers than her other works. Veterans do not communicate with non-veterans for various reasons. Veterans reflect on traumatic experiences, trained responses, and fitting in.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (06:35)

Experts discuss the "wholesaling diagnosing of mental illness," PTSD, reasons why some vets want a PTSD label, and previously used terminology for war experiences. Doctors over-prescribe psychiatric medications.

Veteran Suffering (04:15)

Despite the military's response to PTSD, rates of suffering increase; 58,000 vets are homeless every night and substance abuse continues to rise. Caplan discusses five main reasons for veteran suicides.

Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project (04:11)

Michelle Dillow recalls sharing the impact of her war experiences with students. Caplan cites two sentences to use when listening to veterans and session guidelines.

Power of Listening (04:35)

Platoni quotes Henri Nouwen's perspective on listening. For some veterans, it is easier to talk to a stranger and non-therapist; some prefer to talk with non-veterans.

Forward Observers of Life and Death (04:38)

Listeners often experience personal positive transformations. Veterans reflect on processing death and sharing experiences. Caplan discusses veteran perceptions of listening sessions.

Life After Service (04:44)

Differing politics do not matter during a listening session. Veterans share the psychological impact of their experiences.

Listening to Veterans (02:12)

Caplan explains ways the Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project works. In 2011, Ted Engelmann suggests national days for listening. Listening to veterans immerses Caplan in many human emotions and reactions.

Credits: Is Anybody Listening? (02:35)

Credits: Is Anybody Listening?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Is Anybody Listening?

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Filmmaker Paula J. Caplan grew up listening to—but not remembering—stories her beloved father, Jerome Caplan, told yearly about being Captain of an all-Black battery in The Battle of the Bulge. Her bewilderment about her inability to remember those stories led her to listen to hundreds of veterans. Her alarm that veterans' deeply human reactions to war and rape are diagnosed as mental illness drove her to set up free sessions nationwide for a nonveteran to listen in wholehearted, respectful silence to whatever a veteran wants to say, reducing veterans' soul-crushing isolation and nonveterans' illiteracy about war and rape. In this documentary, Caplan takes viewers on her journey through interviews with veterans, including Sgt. Isaac Pope—a 96-year-old man who served with Captain Caplan, archival footage, and visual art. She provides a touching and intimate portrait of the struggles faced by veterans in returning from war to a society that does not understand the moral, physical, and other struggles they went through and continue to experience on a daily basis.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL182999

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.