Hearts and Minds
1974, Peter Davis, USA, 112 min.
- Sat, Mar 3rd 5:30pm
- Tue, Mar 6th 6:00pm
“A masterful documentary, one of the most unsettling discussions of Vietnam and its aftermath ever to appear in any medium.” — Don Druker, Chicago Reader
“Not only the definitive American documentary about the war in Vietnam but a landmark political action.” — Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
In the decade between the inadequate first stab of THE GREEN BERETS and the arrival of major ‘Nam movies like THE DEER HUNTER and APOCALYPSE NOW, Peter Davis’s Oscar-winning documentary filled the gap, providing a sweeping overview of the waning war. Working in the politicized post-cinema-verité style pioneered by Emile de Antonio, Davis fashions a vast mosaic that uses expressive editing in place of conventional narration. The background is deftly sketched in (Indochina, orientalism, the domino theory, the myth of the communist conspiracy), but the core of the film is a series of up-close-and-personal threads placed in resonantly dialectical opposition (veterans unwaveringly patriotic and wracked by guilt; grieving parents of a fallen soldier and a prison-facing resister; administration officials unapologetic and repentant), until the coup de grâce is delivered by the juxtaposition of the funeral of a Vietnamese soldier and a jaw-droppingly obtuse remark by U.S. commanding general William Westmoreland. In English, French, and Vietnamese with English subtitles. 35mm. (MR)
Tuesday lecture by Nora Annesley Taylor, Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago