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The Darkest Hour

A film by Mark Fastoso


It took 15 seconds for America’ finest aviators to become prisoners of war in the Hanoi Hilton. It took eight years for their wives to bring them home.

Cut off from each other, on opposite sides of the world, the POWs and their wives rose to the occasion, a band of brothers and a band of sisters, each coming together in time of need.

Leading the POWs were 11 diehard officers, the baddest of the bad, whose defiance got them kicked out of the Hanoi Hilton and sent to one of the harshest prisons on earth. But they never relinquished their will to return with honor.

Their wives refused to let America forget its captive warriors. With no guide other than their instincts, the women waged their own campaign in a new age of war on the six o’clock news. They launched the POW-MIA movement, with its iconic flag, to unite a bitterly divided nation and reunite their families.

Together, these 11 officers and their families endured the longest and harshest deployment in American history.

“They stripped me of everything. But in my direst need, my faith got stronger.”

  • –Jim Mulligan, POW

“That night I fell asleep sobbing in my pillow. I felt so incredibly helpless. Somehow, some way I had to find something I could do to help Jim.”

  • -Sybil Stockdale, leader of the National League of POW-MIA Families

This is their extraordinary story.

Associated Members

We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture