Find out more about past and upcoming POV films!

Did you know? Many POV films are available free to stream online and on mobile devices. Visit POV's Watch Video page or download the PBS mobile app for iPhone or iPad, and see which films are available today!

‘Where Soldiers Come From’ Mural-in-Progress – Day 1 with Dom

by |

The National Veterans Art Museum is honoring Memorial Day 2012 with the opening of a new mural installation, “War Made A New Me,” by Dominic (Dom) Fredianelli, one of the subjects of Where Soldiers Come From (POV 2011). Dom is in one of the museum galleries all week working on the mural before it is unveiled this Saturday, May 26 along with a film screening and artist’s talk. Check out his progress throughout the week here on the POV Blog. Today, Dom also tells us about a piece he made last week as part of “The Arts and the Military” conference in Washington, DC.

Day 1: Chicago

Today I started on the Mural at the NVAM. Chicago has turned into a state of madness with the NATO meeting, so traveling to and from where I am staying has been interesting.

The Wall itself is roughly 25-30 ft long on both sides and its height varies from 8 to 10 feet. The hallway in between the 2 walls is about 6-7ft. I decided to use both sides of the wall, using 2 different American Flags. Although there will be many more layers to go upon them, this is my base. I used the normal coloring for the flag on the left, replacing its stars with peace signs. This flag will represent the honor I felt helping people during war, and not killing them. I believed that spending time with younger people and trying to be as human as possible with them would leave an impression much stronger than fighting would. It also represents freedom and peace, in general.

The flags opposite will be the black flag on the right. This flag will represent the horrors a war will do to a person and their families. I replaced its colors with solid black and its stars with question marks. I believe the mirror effect of the 2 flags will give the piece a lot of emotion, attitude, and sadness as the difference between the 2 is not that much.

This first day has been very emotional. The venue of a piece can alter your way of thinking alot. I am surrounded by works of Art mostly created through war and military, and they are both dark subjects. The music I have been listening to is very upbeat, and my style has become very emotional and out of control, which is great for the way the flags have turned out. 2morrow i start the figures that will fit in on each side, and hopefully start their outlines by late 2morrow.


I drew this picture at the AMH conference this week. I attended the Conference for a screening of WSCF, but also attended Warrior Writers/Combat Paper Project as well. I went through all the steps from cutting down your military to pulling sheets out of the then beaten down material. While going through the steps and actually making the paper, the group (mostly Veterans of a service branch, not all war veterans, however) did writing exercises that would then be transferred to the paper we made later on.

I created the drawing while mostly thinking of the effects of PTSD on the brain and body. It was done on paper created out of a uniform that was overseas. It was a very emotional and powerful week. I met a lot of great people. I hope to stay in contact with Warrior Writers and the Combat Paper Project in the future as they are both very powerful tools in the healing process.

POV Guest Blogger
POV Guest Blogger
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Nanno Rose

    Dom: it is so great you were involved in the Combat Paper Project as well as the mural, and that you’re sharing your experiences here. I saw maybe 20 mins of news coverage of that Paper Project. Such a powerful creative healing happening… You are doing great things! All the best!

  • Dave Mikol

     Good to see Dom’s work in
    progress. It’s remarkable that he has two very different impressions of
    our flag on opposite walls. And that the viewer must walk thru the
    narrow hallway, and is actually caught up in the experience. Go Dominic!

  • Eringle

    I don’t see a mention of “Inequality for All” on your list.

    • Hey

      might be because it wasn’t in his top 10. Read the title of the article.

    • LucasCorso

      I’m still waiting on that one. Never came to a theater in my area. Want to see it, though.

  • Dana Mathews

    Hardest part about enjoying great documentary films is having access to them. The mainstream is too focused on car chases and most outlets only showcase a few documentaries. Is there one place where you can pay to view most if not all documentary films, for instance wanting to view all 10 from this list?

    • interactive

      Thanks for your comment Dana. American Promise and The Act of Killing will be broadcasted on POV in 2014 and available for free streaming on our website for a limited time. Many others on this list are available on DVD or VOD.

  • Madrid

    No love for “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” ??!!

    • Tom Roston

      I didn’t see it! Do you think it’s a top ten? I want to check it out, along with several of Auxerre’s faves.

    • LucasCorso

      That’s one I’d put in my Top 10, certainly. Also “Dirty Wars.” Once you get past the stylistic choices that are somewhat distracting, it is staggeringly important material.

  • Auxerre

    I’ve seen all but “First Cousin, Once Removed” and “Menstrual Man,” and the others are really good, although I rate “The Summit” somewhat lower. This is a better list than the Oscars’ semifinalists, although there’s a couple there I would have liked to have seen here.

    The 30 best docs I’ve seen this year:

    1. Stories We Tell
    2. The Gatekeepers (opened here this year, was an Oscar nominee last year)
    3. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
    4. The Act of Killing
    5. The Girls in the Band
    6. Springsteen & I
    7. How to Make Money Selling Drugs
    8. The Square
    9. Cutie and the Boxer
    10. Jodorowsky’s Dune
    11. These Birds Walk
    12. American Promise
    13. Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia
    14. At Berkeley
    15. The Institution
    16. Blackfish
    17. My Stolen Revolution
    18. Casting By
    19. Our Nixon
    20. More Than Honey
    21. Lenny Cooke
    22. The Trials of Muhammad Ali
    23. 12 O’Clock Boys
    24. Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
    25. 5 Broken Cameras (same as “The Gatekeepers”)
    26. Let the Fire Burn
    27. I Am Breathing
    28. Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker
    29. I Am Divine
    30. Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

  • LucasCorso

    Dirty Wars.

  • jerome greenberg

    I’m stunned that Herman’s House did not make the list.