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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rusty Sachs Rusty Sachs ... Himself
Joe Bangert Joe Bangert ... Himself
Scott Shimabukuro Scott Shimabukuro ... Himself
Kenneth Campbell Kenneth Campbell ... Himself
Scott Camil Scott Camil ... Himself
John Kerry ... Himself
Steve Pitkin Steve Pitkin ... Himself
Jonathan Birch Jonathan Birch ... Himself
Charles Stevens Charles Stevens ... Himself
Fred Nienke Fred Nienke ... Himself
David Bishop David Bishop ... Himself
Nathan Hale Nathan Hale ... Himself
Michael Hunter Michael Hunter ... Himself
Murphy Lloyd Murphy Lloyd ... Himself
Carl Rippberger Carl Rippberger ... Himself
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Freedom cannot survive in darkness. This film illuminates the truth See it now. The people in it are our brothers, husbands, sons and loved ones.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 2010 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Stratiotes tou heimona See more »

Filming Locations:

Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,825
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

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

The Horror
17 September 2007 | by Zen BonesSee all my reviews

This is virtually ninety-plus minutes of testimonials of 'war crimes' by Vietnam vets at a conference in 1971, and while all of the atrocities - there's no other word for them - were the kinds of things I'd seen before, the sheer numbers were what got to me. Not the numbers of tortured and dead; that number I don't suppose I'll ever digest. It's the numbers of decent Americans like you or me who through exaggerated training of 'manhood', became savages. One can better understand what it must have been like to come home to our normal world of shopping malls, fast food, and sitcoms, and try to stuff back the memories and repressed emotions that made one kill children for fun and hack off body parts for a reward of a six-pack. Actually, I still can't understand it. I don't suppose I'll ever know at one point one stops becoming human, but at least I did find some hope in seeing these hundreds of men who found their humanity again after the war. Don't think that this is a film that tries to make Americans look bad, for virtually every culture in the world has had its share of atrocities. The atrocities are the symptom; war is the disease. From that perspective, I wish the film had gone further in having someone articulate the ignorance that these guys had in even going into this war. They really only understood why they were sent to fight when they returned, and it's that ignorance that is the virus that our government - that all governments and extremists - like to spread. The most upsetting image I saw in this film was a snapshot of an American soldier smiling over the exposed body of one of his kill. The chill down the back of my neck hit me before my mind brought up what it reminded me of. The smile on that soldier's face was the exact same smile that one of the soldiers Abu Ghraib had as he stood over a pile of naked bodies and crooked his thumbs up in a sign of victorious glee. The horror is that it just never stops.


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