Film Screening: Return to Dak To by Christopher Upham

PDNB Gallery

Nov. 2, 2019, 02:00 pm

154 Glass Street, Ste. 104
PHONE 214.969.1852

PDNB Gallery is thrilled to announce that Vietnam War Veteran and filmmaker, Christopher Upham, will be joining us in the gallery for a special screening of his film, RETURN TO DAK TO.

This important film will take place Saturday, November 2nd at 2 pm, before the opening reception of our exhibition, Where Have All the Flowers Gone: Images of War.

Director and combat medic Christopher Upham journeys to vibrant contemporary Vietnam with four veteran comrades, who reveal how their Army unit, the 299th Engineers, were left at Dak To firebase in 1969, as bait for a much larger North Vietnamese Army force. Along the road back, these veterans confront feelings of abandonment by leaders and society alike, and they reveal their sacrifices, shortcomings and pride of service, amidst shifting bouts of PTSD. Finally returning to Dak To allows an unexpected closure for these men as they give voice to personal traumas that connect to the universal sufferings of war.


Christopher Upham is a producing writer-director living in San Francisco. His first documentary, Return to Dak To, is on the film festival circuit and won a Jury’s Citation, 2nd Prize at the Black Maria Film and Video Festival. The film explores Upham’s experiences as a medic traveling back to Vietnam with four Army comrades and played at the National Gallery in Washington, DC in summer 2015.

Mr. Upham’s collaborators include: playwright John O’Keefe, directors Paul Saltzman, Taggart Siegel, Ellen Perry, William Farley, Yun Suh, Hisham Bizri, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, and arms trafficking Investigator/producer Kathi Austin. Mr. Upham is on Staff at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Screenwriting program and has taught at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Film Society.

Mr. Upham’s first novel, Daktoum a fictional retelling of the events in Return to Dak To, will be published by Skywriter Books. His short fiction, Nothing To Crow About was anthologized in Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, edited by Maxine Hong Kingston. Mr. Upham has professional acting credits in over 50 films, including a featured lead in Larry Clark’s Cutting Horse.

He began in the film business with legendary IMAX pioneer, Director Greg MacGillivray and has worked professionally at nearly every movie job above and below the line except for grip and gaffer. Mr. Upham’s current projects include: Sidewinder Justice, a dystopian war veteran’s revenge novel set in a desert city and Dark Gate, a San Francisco neo-noir transmedia film/novel.

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