Regret to Inform


2009 Season
New York

In 1968, on her 24th birthday, Barbara Sonneborn received word that her husband, Jeff, had been killed in Vietnam while trying to rescue his wounded radio operator during a mortar attack. "We regret to inform you," the telegram began. Twenty years later, Sonneborn, a photographer and visual artist, embarked on a journey in search of the truth about war and its legacy. Framed as an odyssey through Vietnam to Que Son, where Jeff was killed, Sonneborn weaves together the stories of widows from all sides of the American-Vietnam war. The result is a profoundly moving examination of the impact of war over time that puts a human face on the all-too-often overlooked casualties of armed conflict--the survivors. Intercut with beautiful scenes of the serene Vietnamese countryside and shocking archival footage from the war years, the women's voices form an eloquent international chorus calling for peace. Regret to Inform is a powerful mediation on loss and the devastation of all war on a personal level. It is a love story and a deeply moving exploration of the healing power of compassion.

Barbara Sonneborn
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