Looking Back

Looking Back

Living in a treatment center for homeless veterans, Albert Lewis finds his photography to be therapeutic for himself and his community. (Media That Matters)

Living in a treatment center for homeless veterans, Albert Lewis photographs the community of men he calls friends. When newcomers arrive he photographs them to keep track of their progress. Later, seeing the photos, many can’t believe how bad they once looked.

For Lewis, 67, life as a Vietnam veteran has been a constant battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. “War is hell,” he says. “You drink and drug just to forget.”

Photography gives Lewis focus and allows him to gauge his own and others’ progress towards recovery. His friends appreciate his support and some say they now have more photographs of themselves than ever in their lives.

This black-and-white video includes many of Lewis’s photographs; the narration consists of the filmmaker’s interviews with him. This story won the Perspectives Award at the 2009 Media That Matters Film Festival.

CHANNEL: Media That Matters

Length: 5:25

Film by Emile Bokaer
Production Assistant: Carolina Kondo

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