Inspired by true events, Dieter Dengler’s plane is shot down over Viet Nam. He is captured and held prisoner along with a group of others who have been held there for a few years already. Dengler miraculously sustains his sanity without proper care, food, water, amongst many other constraints. Eventually, he is able to motivate the other prisoners into believing there is hope, and to help him with his plan to escape.
Dengler is eventually recovered by the US while making his way through the jungles. He returns home to see thousands of people cheering him on and congratulating him for his courage as he steps down from the helicopter. (Note that Dengler was said to be the only US Navy pilot to escape and make it home).
Dengler speaks and leaves the crowd with these inspiring words of wisdom:
“Empty what is full
Fill what is empty
Scratch where it itches”
One can only imagine what he was thinking and / or remembering when he said those words!
This is definitely NOT your typical blood and guts war movie, though there is a little of that too, but not like most of the war stories I have seen. This movie is centered more on life, courage, and the power of positive thinking. All of this resulting from one single man, who was able to encourage a group of people to be more optimistic and search for the strength and energy to survive. It’s all about having Faith & Hope even if it sounds silly vs quitting and simply giving up.
So a message for everyone is to remember, things could be worse in your life / our lives, but really it’s not so bad when we really think about it. We need to figure out how to focus, stay positive, and move forward in the right direction at the right place and time.