The director, a French veteran of the Indochina war (La 317e Section), returned to follow a platoon of American soldiers for six weeks at the height of fighting in Vietnam in 1966. The ...
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The director, a French veteran of the Indochina war (La 317e Section), returned to follow a platoon of American soldiers for six weeks at the height of fighting in Vietnam in 1966. The documentary discusses the background and fate of the soldiers and emphasizes how much American culture pervades the soldiers' behaviors in the midst of jungle life and fighting.Written by
It so happened that in 1968 I was asked to escort Major and Mrs Anderson around prior to the showing of the film that evening. I hated the war (and still do) but I liked Anderson a lot and found that his college-educated wife (UKansas) was opposed to the war. One fact came out in the discussion after the film. One of the U.S. soldiers killed was killed by a grenade tossed by one of his own men. The narrator began the film by saying "The Vietnam War is a tragedy." It remains so. The audience that evening was entirely male college students, with the exception of an occasional veteran like me. The film gave its audience a better sense of what it was like to fight and die in that faroff jungle than any experience other than being there. I recall being very sad that we were doing this to our young men and to a country that posed only a fictional threat to our well-being. But I also recall having great respect and even love for the kids we'd sent there. I've often wondered what happened to Major Anderson and his lovely wife. Anyone know?
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