A documentary about a political troupe headed by actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland which traveled to towns near military bases in the US in the early 1970s. The group put on shows ...
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A documentary about a political troupe headed by actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland which traveled to towns near military bases in the US in the early 1970s. The group put on shows called "F.T.A.", which stood for "F**k the Army", and was aimed at convincing soldiers to voice their opposition to the Vietnam War, which was raging at the time. Various singers, actors and other entertainers performed antiwar songs and skits during the show. Written by
The movie opened in theaters in 1972 the same week that Jane Fonda made her controversial trip to Hanoi, North Vietnam. Within a week of its release, American-International Pictures withdrew it from circulation. Director Francine Parker speculated that "calls were made from high up in Washington, possibly from the Nixon White House, and the film just disappeared." See more »
The point of viewing this film is not only to see the theatrical skits performed by young stars like Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, but to see those skits in context, filmed as they were performed on and near military bases around the world, to audiences of American troops, as the U.S. was in the midst of the Viet Nam war. Like most vaudeville, the skits were an excuse for political and social commentary, though some of them were funny and others were quite moving. The music was also excellent. What is most remarkable in the film, though, are the interviews with soldiers on active duty in wartime, and the camera pans of vast crowds of soldiers watching the stage performance avidly. It brings home the support that the peace movement had even with active duty troops in wartime. It's exceptionally difficult to get a copy of this film in the U.S., though there are some copies still in circulation in Europe. If you ever get a chance to see it, don't miss it--it's an important slice of U.S. history, long buried and forgotten. Today we remember (falsely) that peaceniks spat upon veterans. This gives the lie to that urban myth. In fact, the peace movement and veterans were often strongly aligned, as both groups were dedicated to "supporting the troops" by bringing them home.
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