Documentary on the main principles of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" illustrated with examples from the Vietnam War (Demoralization), the Second World War (Invasion of Normandy), the American Civil War (Gettysburg) and Tzu's own battles.

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(as David W. Padrusch)
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Narrator (voice)
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Toshishiro Obata ...
King Helu
Andrew Amani ...
Nang Wa
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Vietnamese Woman (as Megan Nguyen)
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Surgeon (as Cazzey Cereghino)
Tyler Dixon ...
Union Patient
Charles Currier ...
Alfred Owen
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Asian Fighter (as Malay Choeung Kim)
Tommy Leng ...
Asian Fighter (as Tommy Leung)
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Thin Sam ...
...
Justin Vancho ...
Xj Wang ...
Asian Fighter (as X.J. Wang)

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Documentary on the main principles of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" illustrated with examples from the Vietnam War (Demoralization), the Second World War (Invasion of Normandy), the American Civil War (Gettysburg) and Tzu's own battles.

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3 May 2009 (USA)  »

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$200,000 (estimated)
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An ancient text to live by
24 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here is a vivid depiction of the ancient military treatise that has guided successful generals for 1500 years.

Not only is "The Art of War" relevant today, but, we ignore it at our peril, the filmmaker points out. And he offers evidence from the Vietnam, Civil and other wars to prove his point.

"Know yourself, and know your enemy, and in 100 battles you will never be in peril," author Sun Tzu advises.

An important message here is that understanding is far more potent than brawn. It's all about outwitting, not overpowering. In other words: "All warfare is deception...Let your plans be as dark as night -- then strike like a thunderbolt."

"A leader must have the moral will of the people behind him," the sage advises. Too bad Lyndon Johnson didn't understand this. His enemies in Vietnam apparently knew that the "ultimate strategic goal is to break the will of the enemy."

If one must fight, it should always be from a position of strength. Thus, Pickett's charge was doomed to fail at Gettysburg. Other fairly modern examples abound.

This film could have been dry and colorless; instead, it enlivens a formidable text with drama (i.e., the anecdote about the concubines) and relevance. It has left me eager to examine the original work.


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