Sat, Apr 6th at 7:45pm
Sun, Apr 7th at 5:30pm
Average: 4.7 (26 votes)

World premiere!
Director Jan Thompson in person!

  1. 2012, Jan Thompson, USA, 116 min.
  2. Narrated by Loretta Swit

More than twenty years in the making, this innovative documentary by three-time Emmy Award-winning director Jan Thompson depicts the experience of American POWs in WWII Japanese camps largely through their poems, songs, drawings and cartoons, many brought to life through animation. Starved and brutalized, the men meet horror with American ingenuity and gallows humor, all abundantly evident as survivors describe the daily struggle for survival reinforced by soul-saving fantasies, pranks, jokes, and even recipes. Additional narration by Ed Asner, Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Robert Wagner, and more. HDCAM video, (BS)

Director Jan Thompson will be present for audience discussion at both screenings.  She will be joined by veteran and former POW Earl Hettgar on Sunday.

See video


So proud to be able to attend this event. My 95 year old grandfather, Earl Hettgar, is the speaker! Thank you for bringing such an important topic to the surface in a country that has failed to recognize these heroes.


I only saw the trailer, but so many of the words in the trailer were told to me by my father. Such a horrific experience.

Anonymous, 04/06/13

"Never the Same" is a creative integration of interviews, diaries, and artwork of the POWs. The result is an in-depth look at how tough, resilient, and resourceful these men were given the horrendous conditions that were unveiled to us as audience members. We come away feeling very proud of these men.

—Anonymous, 04/09/13

I attended the premier of "Never The Same". This is a long overdue, comprehensive view of life in the World War II, Japanese POW camps with contributions from former POWs. What a fine piece of work on the part of Jan Thompson. She gives us a glimpse into the lives of POWs as well as the black humor that enabled these men and women to deal with their plight. I truly hope that this film is released nationally. We can all benefit from this eyeopening film. Thank you to Jan Thompson.

—Susan Karayanis, 04/09/13

This film tells the truth without judgment. The pictures, diaries and POW interviews are poignant and reveal not only the inhumane treatment received, but the range of reactions to the deprivations they endured: resourcefulness, dark humor, food fantasies, love and hate. It is an important addition to the historical record of WWII.

Anonymous, 04/09/13