Calling the Spirits Home

In 1960s and 70s, the US government secretly authorized bombing raids into the country of Laos, as part of the overall effort to eradicate communism in Southeast Asia. The unfortunate victims of these raids were mostly hill tribesmen and peasant villagers caught in the middle of a civil war in Laos. Often conscripted into service by either side, many of these peaceful villagers endured horrific acts of violence and terror. It is believed that well over 100,000 Laotians lost their lives in this war.

It is now known that the Laotian government troops were trained, supplied and funded by the CIA and the US army. By the end of the war, US aircraft had dropped over 2 million tons of bombs on Laos, more than were dropped in all of WWII.

Many fled the violence in neighboring Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand. Sadly, these refugees were not wanted in their new countries, and lived for years in boarder camps. In the late 1970s, the US government agreed to accept thousands of refugees. Many settled in northern California, in and around the city of Santa Rosa.


Calling the Spirits Home tells the stories of these Laotian refugees as they continue to deal will post-traumatic stress issues. Commissioned by Sutter Medical Center, this film educates medical professionals who must treat these unique patients, how to be aware of their history and psychological and physical issues, and how best to serve them as physicians.

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