One of the inspirations for my next novel (to be published in 2016)
is the Peabody Award Winning movie, “Green Eyes.” It made quite an impact on me. I saw it on its 1977 debut as an ABC made-for-TV movie. Yes, that’s thirty-eight years ago! It is the story of a former Vietnam veteran, portrayed by Paul Winfield, who comes back home with physical and psychological scars. Once he is released from the hospital, he cannot find work, so he makes his way back to Vietnam to find a Vietnamese woman and her child, a boy whom he has fathered. All he has to go on is a photograph of the woman and knowledge that the boy has green eyes. The inspiration is screenplay writer, David Seltzer’s, own experiences in Vietnam two years before the fall of Saigon where he witnessed the tragedy of so many orphaned children.
In my novel, HUNT FOR REDEMPTION, a former NFL football player learns he fathered a child who was put up for adoption. He is determined to find him, if only to assure himself the boy went to a good home. Like the vet wandering the villages of Vietnam, Tim Hunt finds his search for the child is not as easy as he had hoped. Complications and danger abound. I will tell you more about the plot closer to publication, but for now, let me leave you with Seltzer’s own account of what he saw in Vietnam:
He said, “Children were spilling out of the orphanages. They were in the streets – it looked like Calcutta. One orphanage had 3,000 children, a staff of 10 and food every day for only a few hundred. There were rooms full of babies, literally acres of babies, languishing.”
He goes on to say that he witnessed children leaving the food line. As he explains: “to get what I was dispensing – to be hugged and touched by another human being.”
Movie trailer from Green Eyes, courtesy of HotBooksVideo.