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Winter Soldier (1972)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | 19 June 2010 (Japan)
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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Rusty Sachs ...
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Joe Bangert ...
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Scott Shimabukuro ...
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Kenneth Campbell ...
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Scott Camil ...
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...
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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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David Bishop ...
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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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Connections

Featured in Sir! No Sir! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Draft Board Blues
Written and Performed by Bill 'Watermelon Slim' Homans
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User Reviews

 
One of the best films on Viet Nam (and modern war)
15 October 2004 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

This film appears to have been all but lost to the ages, which is a shame since its a very moving record of what a group of soldiers experienced during their time in Viet Nam.

The film consists of panel testimony before and to an audience of the horrible things that the soldiers saw and did while fighting for truth justice and the American Way. That is inter-cut with one on one interviews with the film makers. Its mostly just talking heads, but its rarely boring since what these men have to say is so interesting it ends up being more like talking to friends over coffee than being lectured.

What comes through is the sincerity of the speakers who pull no punches in telling you what its like to fight a war in a hostile land of no clear cut enemies. (And yes the film echoes frighteningly with events currently transpiring in Iraq where reports on the news and interviews with soldiers find the same phrases and reasonings being repeated)

This is a haunting film that effects you not so much in the viewing, but rather in the thinking. It is not an easy film to forget and it will play in your mind much more forcefully as you think about it afterward.

If the film has any real flaw is that at 95 minutes its about 20 minutes too long. Its not that the material is bad, rather that its too much to take in and like the vet who's seen too many killings you turn off to the sights before you.

SEE THIS MOVIE. Find it and see it. It is still as vital today as when it was made.

9 out of 10.


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