An essay on a popular documentary film "Hearts and Minds" Studied in public administration and U.S. history. [Written in NYC on 11.02]

Essay by 124578B, January 2003

download word file, 2 pages 4.1

Downloaded 77 times

"Hearts and Minds" is a very powerful and emotional documentary. This work is on the subject of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam. Using a wide variety of interviews as well as powerful real life footage from the Vietnam, "Hearts and Minds" achieve a task that few movies undertake.

The film joins together interviews with American politicians, army officers, war veterans, as well as Vietnamese citizens. Although this enables "Hearts and Minds" to displays a range of different viewpoints on the subject of Vietnam, it is clear that the filmmakers were against the war.

Not only did it try to put some light on what was really going on in Vietnam it actually made fun of Americans perception on the war during that time. The film would show a typical 1960s Hollywood Vietnam movie and then cut straight in to real footage of dead bodies being collected after a shooting or Vietnam prisoners of war being "questioned".

A number of interviews are stage at common Vietnam village showing whatever that was left after it was destroyed by the American bombers. One of the Villages showed around his hose "This was the living room ... and this was the kitchen".

While the Vietnam footage was graphic and very difficult to withstand, the American side of the story was as emotional and provided a lot material to think about. It would show US army jet pilots describing what they did on their bombing missions and how it felt when they realized that those were actual people getting killed. At the time those people were nothing more then a mare dots on the radar screen. It took Robert Muller, and ex marine, a permanent back injury to realize that he was not an invincible fighting machine as his superiors presented it to him.