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Interviews with My Lai Veterans (1971)

Interviews with five former American soldiers who were present at the March 16, 1968 attack on the village of My Lai during the Vietnam War; they discuss the orders that were issued leading... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Richard Hammer ...
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Interviews with five former American soldiers who were present at the March 16, 1968 attack on the village of My Lai during the Vietnam War; they discuss the orders that were issued leading up to the attack, their expectations of what they would find there, and the subsequent massacre of the inhabitants and destruction of the village, as well as possible motivations for the killings and rapes which took place. Written by scgary66

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Documentary | Short | War

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25 February 1971 (USA)  »

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Haskell Wexler, RIP
23 January 2016 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

In 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that US troops had massacred Vietnamese civilians in My Lai the previous year.* Joseph Strick's Oscar-winning "Interviews with My Lai Veterans" features interviews with the men who carried out the massacre. One of the men notes that the army gave them the authority to shoot anything that moved. Another says something to the effect of "There would probably be no enemy if we weren't there." See a similarity to recent events?

Everyone should see this documentary. Regardless of the young men's attitudes towards their actions, there can be no doubt that the My Lai Massacre was one of the worst war crimes ever. The order to kill may come from the top, but it's the soldier on the battlefield who makes the final decision. I also recommend 1974's "Hearts and Minds".

I noticed that the recently deceased Haskell Wexler was one of the cinematographers. Everyone should see his "Medium Cool", filmed during the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

*It later came out that a young Colin Powell had helped cover up the massacre.


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