January 6th, 2014
09:40 AM ET

Director on Survivor's Guilt: 'Survivors are Victims Too'

There have been 14 major airplane crashes with a sole survivor in the history of commercial aviation. Most of the lone survivors are dealing with debilitating guilt that few can understand.

These survivors have never met each other, until now. They have come together in the new CNN Film  "Sole Survivor."

Written and directed by Ky Dickens,  the filmmaker says the movie addresses the fact that "survivors are victims too."

For nearly 20 years Dickens was riddled with guilt.

At 16, she gave her seat to a friend who died just minutes later in a car crash - leaving her to ask herself why she was spared.

Speaking to Michaela Pereira on "New Day" Monday, Dickens said survivors often want to remain anonymous because they feel pressure to go on and reach achievements for the people who did not survive.

"For the survivors in this film, you know – how do you live your life for the 79 or 156 or – all the other people that perished, let alone the dreams of those people's families and friends? And so I think the immense pressure ... to not live up to the hope and promise sometimes people assign to a survivor, especially of a plane crash, leads people to often want to be anonymous."

Tune in to CNN to see the  film "Sole Survivor"  January 9, 2014 at 9pm ET.

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  1. frederic Jaques

    I am 91 now but back in September, 1943 I was one of two survivors in a Catalina plane crash. Three others were killed. It was war time and although your program will appeal to many, the truth is that the survivors happened to be in the right place at the right time. I was in the copilot's seat but for me, if it hadn't been for a flashlight, I would have been one of those killed in that crash. I was in hospital for 21 months with a dozen skin grafting operations.
    Any time you want to hear the story, just e-mail me. I live in Michigan.

    January 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply

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