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Winter Soldier (1972)

8.2
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For three days in 1971, former US soldiers who were in Vietnam testify in Detroit about their war experiences. Nearly 30 speak, describing atrocities personally committed or witnessed, ... See full summary »

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Title: Winter Soldier (1972)

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Rusty Sachs ...
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Scott Shimabukuro ...
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Kenneth Campbell ...
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Scott Camil ...
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Steve Pitkin ...
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Jonathan Birch ...
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Charles Stevens ...
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Fred Nienke ...
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Nathan Hale ...
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Michael Hunter ...
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Murphy Lloyd ...
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Carl Rippberger ...
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Storyline

For three days in 1971, former US soldiers who were in Vietnam testify in Detroit about their war experiences. Nearly 30 speak, describing atrocities personally committed or witnessed, telling of inaccurate body counts, and recounting the process of destroying a village. The atrocities are casual, seem routine, and are sanctioned or committed by officers. Images from the war illustrate the testimony; there's a side discussion among veterans about racism and a couple of interviews about the soldiers' self-realization. The testimony appears in the US Congressional Record on April 6 and 7, 1971. A "winter soldier" contrasts with Paine's "summer soldier and sunshine patriot." Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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19 June 2010 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Stratiotes tou heimona  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
soldiers telling the raw truth
28 September 2006 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This film consisted almost entirely of talking heads, but held the attention of the audience from start to end at a screening organised by the Socialist Workers Party. It was introduced by a Vietnam veteran slating the UK Labour party for applauding Tony Blair "the 2nd most hated man in the world" on his farewell speech.

The film was mainly shot at a public hearing, organised by Veterans against the war (featuring John Kerry), where former soldiers talked about truly disgusting atrocities against men, women and children that they saw or themselves committed. They are described in a matter-of-fact fashion, because they were an everyday occurrence. They also talk about how they were trained, the dehumanising mindset they were trained in and the realisations they came to on returning to the US. Cut into this were interviews with audience members including a dissenting black veteran talking with members of VVAW about why he thinks there are not many Afro-Americans in their movement.

Too often when atrocities occur, it is the soldiers that are scapegoated, when it is governments that send them out brainwashed. This film gives them a chance to put their side of the story, causing conflicting emotions- should you feel disgusted with them as murderers or pity them as young conscripts deceived into fighting, brutally trained to act like animals. Though it is grim, it is also heartening that they had the courage to stand up against their government and attempt to stop the genocidal war. The sort of film GW Bush and Blair should have watched years ago.


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