In this feature-length documentary, an artist interviews eleven wounded veterans, largely post-9/11 war veterans and Marines, through the lens of her photography series, "You. Are. Beautiful." - a project which celebrates the human spirit and beauty in all people. 

Themes around darkness and light post-war, and within the human spirit, emerge in these candid, unscripted and conversational interviews. Ultimately, the themes that emerge will tie back to one of the project's main sources of inspiration: love. 

The audience will learn more about who these wounded veterans are simply as human beings. The veterans share messages that may help and inspire other injured veterans. Finally, anyone, military or non-military, may come from a new place of understanding of how to find light within the depths of darkness.

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About the Filmmaker and Project

Hello.  My name is Thi Linh Wernau.  My first name is Thi Linh, and I go by Thi (pronounced "T") for short.  In 2012, I made a conscious decision to leave my high-powered career in marketing and mobile technology to pursue a dream I had delayed for a long time.  I wanted to photograph people, create art and use it as a way to empower people and give back.   

This film is part of my larger YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. series of work, which honors our wounded veterans.  Veterans have always held a place close to my heart.  My Dad is a Vietnam veteran, an American soldier who met my Mom during the war. My older brother served in the Marine Corps for twenty years. 

When I embarked on this journey, I wanted to know more about our veterans as people.  I wanted to get to know people beyond what I saw in parades or perfectly produced three-minute TV segments. At the end of the day, my mission was simple: I wanted to spread love and kindness - to oneself and to others.

DARKNESS AND LIGHT came to being in a very organic and serendipitous way.  The project began as a series of still photographs, but I became a filmmaker after deciding to interview and film some of the veterans I was photographing. They inspired me to create this documentary.

In the past two years, I have met people who have been through horrific events, suffered, overcome and still struggle. But the truth is, I have also seen more beauty in people over the past two years than I have seen in the past ten.  I hope you are inspired by this film and its journey of the human spirit, through darkness and light.   

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Thank You

Wernau Asset Management

The costs to produce and present DARKNESS AND LIGHT and the YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. project have been kindly and generously underwritten by Wernau Asset Management. Thank you for supporting our wounded veterans and the importance of art.  

USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment

A special thank you to the United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR), who kindly collaborated with me to gain access to some of the injured Marine veterans and film on Camp Pendleton.  

The USMC WWR is the official command charged by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to provide longitudinal care and support for wounded, ill, and injured Marines and their families.

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