Ain’t No War Like a Race War: Hearts & Minds. Counter-Racist Film Review
Guest Post By Josh Wickett
If you want THE documentary on the Vietnam war, this one is it. This is one of only 2 videos I have ever bought off the internet (because you couldn’t find them anywhere else). “Hearts and Minds” is clearly an anti- war documentary about Vietnam. It starts slow, but increasingly reveals more and more information until by the end you are completely disgusted that such an event could have even occurred.
(((shakin my head)))
I originally tracked this movie down years ago after hearing a radio clip of general William Westmorland saying: “life is cheap in the Orient…the Oriental does not value life like WE do…”.
You know one of those moments where you hear something on the radio that makes you look at the radio because you don’t believe what just came out of it?
This was one of those moments for me. I was like: “WTF? did he just say that!”
Actually, according to Peter Davis, he said it 3 times.
( Davis had to defend himself against charges he “tricked” Westmorland into making this statement. He documents how it occurred in the directors cut which you probably hafta purchase to hear.)
After that Davis shows footage of a south Vietnamese soldier’s funeral and how his family reacts.
The whole film employs this technique. He just slams you in yo face from one side to the other
To his credit, Davis highlights the role of racism without ever calling the viewer a racist. This is an interesting “self confession” cinema technique because if the shoe fits, they either gonna wear it, or throw it; and that’s good because both reactions reveal truth. This may be a side-effect of the movie not having a narrator. Its just people on the screen saying and doing. Who you “identify with” is who you identify with. Its all internal. There are no civilians in a race war; you worry that if you keep moving that line, pretty soon you are on the other side of it; but really, its the LINE that is the problem. To our credit, it takes a huge mind game to get people to kill other people when they aren’t in immediate danger; except for a racist, its easy for them; that’s why they are the masters of death.
The entire documentary is done using this same technique; where instead of a narrator; selected pieces of film are used to reveal truth; usually in the form of contradicting a previous piece of film (that you thought was true). It’s a very effective technique to NOT have a narrator and instead let your film do the talking and let the viewer sort it out.
Peter Davis did a real good job of tracking down footage that never made it to “TeeVee”; you have all seen the picture of the Vietnamese girl with her cloths all burned off, but you never seen the actual film of it?
And you definitely ain’t heard the audio of it.
Well he got it. And its disturbing too. This entire film is disturbing. You’re gonna wanna take a shower after watching it.
but that’s how it is.
The truth is black and ugly*, that’s why nobody wants it;
Till its too late.
PS- I watched this movie for the first time right around the invasion of Iraq when there was all this talk about the search for “Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction”.
Peter Davis includes a clip in this film of the then French Foreign minister describing a meeting with then secretary of state John Foster Dulles where he offers him two atomic bombs. The French Foreign minister seems to think its funny in an absurd sort of way… as if it was some kind of joke… “neither one nor three…two”; like it’s an understood protocol that you never lend someone an odd number of atom bombs.
Remember this scene the next time you are told some nonwhite people are involved in nuclear proliferation.
While you were busy focusing on Al Queda and Al Sharpton, Al Crakah tipped in an stole your pension!
News is something someone doesn’t want you to know; everything else is advertising
——Cree7’s Note: Race = Racism = White Supremacy—–
From 1974, by Peter Davis. Essential viewing if you want to escape history. From IMDB:
“This film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as their own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteousness 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.”