Winter Soldier (1972)
In February 1971, one month after the revelations of the My Lai massacre, an astonishing public inquiry into war crimes committed by American forces in Vietnam was held at a Howard Johnson motel in Detroit. The Vietnam Veterans Against the War organized this event called the Winter Soldier Investigation. More than 125 veterans spoke of atrocities they had witnessed and committed. Though the event was attended by press and television news crews, almost nothing was reported to the American public. Yet, this unprecedented forum marked a turning point in the anti-war movement. It was a pivotal moment in the lives of young vets from around the country who participated, including the young John Kerry. The Winter Soldier Investigation changed him and his comrades forever. Their courage in testifying, their desire to prevent further atrocities and to regain their own humanity, provide a dramatic intensity that makes seeing Winter Soldier an unforgettable experience. … More
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Critic Reviews for Winter Soldier
The film is an important historical document, an eerily prescient antiwar plea and a dazzling example of moviemaking at its most iconographically potent. But at its best, it is the eloquent, unforgettable tale of profound moral reckoning.
The most chilling aspect of "Winter Soldier" is that, 34 years down the road, it feels fresh.
A harrowing and often nauseating compendium of battle-zone confessions that was cast into obscurity almost immediately upon release in 1972.
Very much a product of its time: It's not an investigative piece; it's a combination of documentary footage, protest, despair and anger.
For an America enduring another summer of discontent in Iraq, Winter Soldier horrifically seems to prove that what's past is indeed prologue.
No matter one's politics, this grainy black-and-white documentary can't fail but be convincing %u2013 and harrowing.
It is one of the most difficult films to get through, yet it is also one of the most important films you may ever see.
Amazingly relevant, and impossible to watch without thinking of current events.
Like Hearts and Minds and Fahrenheit 9/11, Winter Soldier is less documentary than in-the-heat-of-conflict document, too close to the bone for "distance."
Time hasn't made it less excruciating to watch, nor less essential.
The shadow of Abu Ghraib looms over these expert witnesses as they spin their anecdotes of murder, torture and humiliation, which decades later still have the ability to make a 'good citizen' nauseous with shame.
Audience Reviews for Winter Soldier
Initially banned in the U.S., Winter Soldier is a candid compilation of eyewitness accounts and first hand testimony about atrocities committed during the Vietnam war. Harsh but eye opening.More
"Winter Soldier" is an illuminating and powerful documentary filmed in grainy black and white of the 1971 hearings held by the Vietnam Veterans against the War. In the hearings, the veterans testify about atrocities committed by American troops in Vietnam. The documentary consists of testimony and conversation with some photographic evidence. All of which is thoroughly gripping.
What comes to the fore in the testimony is how much an underlying cause of the atrocities racism was. I remember reading that demeaning a group of people(in this case using the derogatory term "gook" to describe the Vietnamese people) makes it psychologically easier to hurt them. In the end, the ultimate responsibility is laid at the foot of the command officers. They are the ones who set policy and punishments. The documentary is timely, as ever.
The movie urges the need for people of different viewpoints to converse. Occasionally, this can serve as a form of therapy.
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