Rock Springs Filmmaker To Host Screening Of Documentary At Dubois Military Museum

A Rock Springs filmmaker will host a documentary about his grandfather, a World War II prisoner of war, at the National Museum of Military Vehicles on Saturday.

Ellen Fike

August 03, 20223 min read

Collage Maker 03 Aug 2022 06 45 PM
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Rock Springs’ Mark Pedri had been making films for many years, but it was a surprise when he discovered a film-worthy story among his late grandfather’s possessions.

“The original idea for the film came when I stumbled across my grandfather’s archive of World War II documents that detailed his experience as a prisoner of war,” Pedri told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “Coming across that as a documentarian, it was an untold story that needed to be told. But it was also a story very close to me.”

The story that came out of Silvio Pedri’s World War II archive was “Dear Sirs,” a documentary 75 years in the making.

The documentary not only focuses on Silvio’s time as a prisoner of war, but Mark Pedri’s journey to better know his grandfather. Mark Pedri also detailed a 500-mile bicycle trek in Europe. He followed his grandfather’s path of prisons from France to Germany in the film.

“I think this story will resonate with a lot of people,” Pedri said. “For me, it was fascinating to take this one experience of a Wyoming prisoner of war and trace it through one of the largest events in modern history.”

Pedri, a Rock Springs-based filmmaker, and his wife Carrie McCarthy are slated to host two screenings of “Dear Sirs” on Saturday at the National Museum of Military Vehicles in Dubois.

One screening is scheduled for 11 a.m., the other for 2 p.m., with a question and answer session to take place after the second showing. There is no additional cost to attend the film screening, as it is included in the museum’s admission.

McCarthy said the couple wanted to screen the film at the popular Dubois museum because it would be a perfect setting to recount Silvio’s story.

“We thought it would be a great connection for people to pair a weekend at the museum with seeing a Wyoming story from this time period where some of this equipment and these vehicles are from,” she said.

The couple will be selling limited copies of the “Dear Sirs” DVD at the Dubois screening. Pedri also said the film will be shown on Wyoming PBS sometime in early 2023.

While Pedri was close with his grandfather, his time serving in World War II was not something often, if ever, discussed within the family.

“I think the biggest thing I learned is how much we all hold in,” Pedri said. “Whether it’s something as traumatic as a war experience or parts of our past or family history. I learned we have specific stories and there are bits of the stories we’re not sure how to open up about. I think after going through this journey, I realized the weight of Silvio’s experience.”

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Ellen Fike