How long ago the 2004 election seems…
Today I was greeted by this Washington Post review of “Winter Soldier,” the documentary movie about the Vietnam Veterans Against War investigation held over over three days in Detroit in 1971. If this old movie sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because you might have heard about due to one of its stars – John Kerry.
Washington Post staff writer Ann Hornaday fawns over the powerful testimony from Vietnam vets thusly,
See “Winter Soldier.”
This extraordinary documentary, made in 1972 and having its first theatrical release, not only revisits events during the Vietnam War that have uncanny resonance today but also stands as a riveting example of pure filmic storytelling. An unadorned, black-and-white record of a three-day gathering held in Detroit in 1971, “Winter Soldier” turns the camera on the testimony of former soldiers invited by Vietnam Veterans Against the War to share accounts of atrocities they committed or witnessed. The result is a spellbinding film that achieves impressive power through little more than the spoken word.
Political junkies might remember the Winter Soldier meeting from last year’s presidential campaign, when Sen. John Kerry’s involvement in the event was the subject of the film “Going Upriver.”Amazingly that’s as close as she ever gets to mentioning that what is shown (and that which she finds so powerful) has been thoroughly debunked. She proceeds to spend the rest of the piece gushing over the “actors,” many of whom it turns out were never actually in Vietnam.
While I have no problem with the fact that Hornaday likes or recommends the movie, the fact that she fails to even acknowledge that there are (at a minimum) serious questions about the authenticity of what is presented is just intellectually lazy.
Visit the Winder Soldier site; read excerpts from Guenter Lewy’s “America in Vietnam,” read this background piece by Mackubin Thomas Owens at National Review; or read an interview with former VVAW member Steve Pitkin, who appears in the film, and says that John Kerry and others pressured him to give false testimony about American atrocities in Vietnam. Not one bit of that information manages to inform Hornaday’s review.
You can leave your own review of this turd of a movie here.
Update: More at NewsBusters