Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hearts and Minds (1974)

I am Peter Davis and I directed Hearts and Minds. My principle idea for H&M after a number of months of research really was to focus on 3 questions:
1. Why did we go to Vietnam?
2. What did we do there?
3. And what did the doing intern do to us?
I didn't expect the film to answer those questions, I expected it to address those questions.

Unfortunately it only gave a one sided view to those questions without looking beyond the propaganda from the left.
The title of this documentary was inspired by the mantra recited by those in charge of the Vietnam War: "In order to win the war, we must win the hearts and minds of the people." The failure to achieve this, coupled with the disastrous no-win policies of the higher-ups, is the nucleus of this film, put together by director Peter Davis in the same manner as Marcel Ophuls' The Sorrow and the Pity. Like the Ophuls film, Davis juxtaposes news footage of the Vietnam war with interviews conducted with its observers and participants, interspersing vignettes of the fatuous comments made by the generals and politicians. The film was briefly withdrawn from distribution when Walter Rostow, one-time advisor to President Johnson, insisted that his reputation had been damaged and demanded that the two minutes featuring Rostow on-camera be deleted. More controversy arose when Hearts and Minds won the Best Documentary Oscar, whereupon the Academy issued a statement--read during the awards ceremony by Frank Sinatra--that it did not condone or advocate the volatile statements made by the producers during their acceptance speech. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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Theatrical Feature Running Time:
112 mins Hearts and Minds (1974)
The usual propaganda that Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky would be proud to put their name on. Stuff like Ho Chi Minh was fighting for freedom and unification. Yes for a fictitious nation that was put together by the French. And note that not all were happy about unification as in:
Boat people
Operation Passage to Freedom

One hippie talks shit and blatantly lied about living through a napalm attack. Shows the director's standard for allowing lies into his supposed "documentary".

And yes I can see why Walt Whitman Rostow did not want his interview portion included in the film.
The question use to be: might it be possible that we were on the wrong side in the Vietnamese War? But we weren't on the wrong side, we are the wrong side.
BS! I don't see any people flocking to Vietnam.

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