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 »
This film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism helped create and prolong this bloody conflict. The film also endeavors to give voice to the Vietnamese people themselves as to how the war has affected them and their reasons why they fight the United States and other western powers while showing the basic humanity of the people that US propaganda tried to dismiss.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Columbia Pictures refused to distribute the film, and the production company could not pay the million dollars the studio demanded for its return. Therefore, producer Bert Schneider went to Henry Jaglom and Zack Norman (a/k/a Howard Zuker) to buy back the film. It was Howard Zuker who financed the purchase from Columbia, negotiated the new distribution deal with Warner Brothers and arranged with Marshall Naify at the United Artists Theater Circuit for a last minute awards-qualifying run in Los Angeles. Thereafter, the movie became a Howard Zuker/Henry Jaglom presentation. See more »
Clark Clifford, Aide to President Truman:
When the second World War was over, we were the one great power in the world. The Soviets had a substantial military machine; but, they could not touch us in power. We had this enormous force that had been built up. We had the greatest fleet in the world. We come through the War economically sound. And, I think that in addition to feeling a sense of responsibility, we also began to feel the sense of a world power - that possibly we could control the future of the world.
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The listed translators credited in the movie (Le Thai To, Trung Trac, Le Thanh Tong and Trung Hung Dao) were all Vietnamese generals who had defeated the Chinese in various times from the first century C.E., to the fifteenth century C.E. The translator listed as Nguyen Ai Quoc was an early alias of Ho Chi Minh, founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party. I have no knowledge of the last listed translator, Barbara Gore. Apparently, someone played a good joke on the producers of this film, if it wasn't the translators themselves. See more »
Peter Davis created one of the most moving accounts of the Vietnam War and the attitudes at home when he produced "Hearts and Minds".
The film looks unflinchingly at the nature of power and horrible consequences of war. It is very much a pro-peace film, but uses the people who were there to speak for themselves. It also seeks to probe deeper underneath the American psyche of the times and evolves into a historical document about the violent social rupture that happened between the fifties and the sixties.
In many ways, it feels like a punch in the gut to watch the film. So many ideologies are laid bear....so many were false or misleading.
In the end, the film leaves you thinking about the price of war - and who is given the task to bear that price.
Truly deserving of the Oscar it received - and worthy of repeated viewing.
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