Hearts And Minds

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Georges Bidault, Clark Clifford, George Coker, Kay Dvorshock
Director: Peter Davis

It has been well over 30 years since the terror of the Vietnam war but the world still seems to be in turmoil in many ways, so it is quite timely for the re-release of this 1974 Oscar winning documentary. Unlike Michael Moore’s style of documentary making, this director is not in front of the camera but more fittingly stays behind the scenes and lets the actual people involved in the war do all the talking. It has dated very well and the message is left up to the viewer to read as he or she wishes to. There are so many refreshingly candid viewpoints from the injured civilian Vietnamese victims, wounded war veterans to gung-ho politicians and trigger happy marines.

Coincidentally considering America’s current state of affairs one of the last scenes of the film has an ex-pilot from the war regretting his lack of feeling of loss from dropping so many bombs and other such horrible things on possibly many innocent civilians. He also concludes by saying that America seems to try hard not to learn from the mistake it made by going to Vietnam and he grudgingly admits that sometimes even he himself falls victim to that kind of thinking. It is moments like this that make this film so compelling because it is all real people talking openly about their personal experiences.

It’s definitely worth watching as a very good discussion piece or indeed just as a thought provoking and educational experience.

4 out of 6 stars

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