A graduate student working on a paper on the sad history of black education in South Africa reached out to me after reading my first book, “It’s a Black-White Thing.” Among her questions:

“How do we move forward without having the past always present?”

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I visited a VA hospital. And came away with some lessons in collaboration and creativity that should be kept in mind as America seeks to improve care for its vets.

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After writing “Home of the Brave,” I concluded I would have to have the audacity of a veteran who has seen war to imagine a world at peace.

Dalton Trumbo’s genius was helping us to visualize what wars really mean, and to understand it will take courage and imagination to end them.

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Miles Lagoze, a former combat cameraman in Afghanistan, says he initially tried to make a conventional documentary, with interviews and a narrator to explain things.

Then he realized there was much that he had seen and recorded that he couldn’t explain.

So, he made the unruly, raw and compelling “Combat Obscura,” a glimpse through a lens darkly of the boredom, bravado and blood of war. It was screened at Denver’s DocuWest Film and Music Festival on September 22, 2018. After watching his movie, I joined Miles for a Q-and-A about war and storytelling.

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