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dull interviews about death, and lots of stock footage: absolutely boring
A correspondent in Vietnam takes footage of many horrible things (actual stock footage is used). Upon returning home, he interviews a lot of people about death. A LOT of people. Sheer boredom.
Eventually, he decides that he should be witness to an autopsy, and that every person should see one. He and a photographer friend arrange with a doctor to be witness to one.
A young man abruptly keels over, near dead, dying in the hospital. His brother and wife reluctantly agree to an autopsy. The autopsy itself is fairly graphic, although I had no idea what I was looking at most of the time. Even throughout the autopsy, we cut to more of the man-on-the-street interviews about death.
When there is dialog, most of the time it is the main character in voice-over. At one point in the movie, there's a close-up of his lips that are freeze-framed and he continues talking in voice-over! There are a few scenes where he and his interview subjects are talking, and you can hear the original Italian dialog beneath the English dubbing - weird!
The video box is a terrible case of misleading hype. The front cover has an unattributed quote "A brutal, chilling exposé of war that takes you to the outer limits...of man's sanity." This is not really true. The synopsis on the back states "In the tradition of 'Apocalypse Now' and 'The Deer Hunter' a war correspondent, sickened by what he's seen and experienced, decides to probe deeper into the heart of Vietnam. Beginning at a military hospital, he sees first hand as 'doctors' perform the gruesome human dissection commonly called an autopsy. And what he ultimately discovers, is far worse than anything a medical textbook would dare show." Well, it's nothing like the two movies mentioned. Additionally, he does not seem terribly sickened by what he's seen, but rather moved to think about life and death, and to force other people to think about it too, with little or no mention of Vietnam after the early scenes. He doesn't begin at a hospital, but with interviewing random people, and the hospital he winds up at is not a military hospital as far as I could tell. Why 'doctors' would be in quotes, I'm not sure; the man who does the autopsy, as far as I could tell, is supposed to be a real doctor. Is what he finds worse than a medical textbook? Well, he seems to find what he wanted to, at the end he watches a sunset while he continues musing to himself.
There's also a blurb on the back of the box reading "WARNING: Due to the graphic content of this motion picture, viewer discretion is advised." For most of the movie's running time, this is irrelevant, and while the autopsy is not particularly horrible, the stock footage clips of Vietnam (napalmed kids, etc.) are likely to be disturbing to some.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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