"The Return" to play at Hawaii International Film Festival
He is the only war veteran who has also gone on to win four Super Bowl Championships, and now, his story is being told right here in Hawaii.
"The Return" tells the story of Rocky Bleier.
Fifty years ago, Bleier's life changed forever. A former national champion from the University of Notre Dame, he was in his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam war. In August of 1969, just three months after arriving in Vietnam, Bleier was wounded in combat and airlifted out of the country.
Bleier was told his football career was over. After intense rehab, he returned to football to win four Super Bowl rings as a running back for the Steelers.
Last summer, in an emotional ESPN documentary, Bleier returned to Vietnam for the first time since he was wounded five decades ago.
"Schedules worked out, multiple other things worked out, logistics, getting rights to do it with the Vietnamese government; there were so many things that we needed to do in order to tell this story of Rocky returning to Vietnam for the first time in fifty years that it wasn't an easy thing to get done but we're very proud of it," said Jon Fish, Director of the film
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Bleier being wounded in combat and Fish thought Hawaii would be the perfect place to share this film on Veteran's Day weekend.
"Anybody who is in the military that sees this, you can appreciate the story." explained Fish.
"The Return" won Best Documentary at LA Shorts International Film Festival and thus is Academy Award eligible.
The film is being shown at Dole Cannery Theater at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. To purchase tickets, head here.
The film's Director Jon Fish of ESPN will be there after to answer questions.