IN 1986,A GROUP OF CANADIAN AND BRITISH veterans returned to the East German city of Dresden to celebrate with that city the rebirth of its magnificent opera house. The beterans had been airmen in the war, and had participated in the raid on Dresden, a raid which destroyed the opera house and the lives of 135,000 people--more than the number of immediate deaths at Hiroshima. Return to Dresden, Martin Duckworth's film of the veterans' visit, is powerful and should not be missed. It cuts between archival footage of the raid, scenes from the inaugural opera, and confrontations between citizens of Dresden and the men who had dropped fire on them forty years earlier. These encounters are the heart of the film, and both the pain of the survivors and thd dignity and courage of the veterans in facing them are inspiring.
VANA, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, is encouraging people to see the film, which is available from National Film Board offices. They also ask that anyone sympathetic to the peace movement should let veterans know about the movie and VANA. Unfortunately, it will not be shown on CBC. Man Alive was offered it but reportedly said that they did not want the film because "Canadians don't like German opera."