Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In The Year of the Pig (1969)

Emile De Antonio's documentary provides an account of the history of VietNam from the occupation by colonizing French troops to deployment of American troops.  As documentaries go, it is an interesting look at a time in history.  I was a student during the events filmed, the 9th grade when Saigon fell. I can't help but parallel many of the events with the more recent activities of the Iraq war.  It documents the American politics that lead to the U. S. involvement that, in hindsight, are quite shocking.  I must be careful to critique the film rather than the culture of the decade.  If you have no preconceived notion of the VietNam conflict this is certainly a good place to start, but be careful.  If you fall among the many millions that think that America can do no wrong, this film will probably upset you. I wonder if the hawks of DC released anything as a counterpoint to this, as I would be interested to see the spin that was produced.  While the politicians of the time viewed it as necessary measures to halt the spread of Communism, DeAntonio shows the activities as a civil war deserving no more foreign involvement then was provided during the American Civil War.  It provides a unapologetic look at the mechanics of warfare and a glimpse of the "Ugly American". Easily understandable why it was so vilified upon release during the height of the conflict.  Could not have eased any of the anti-war sentiment prevalent at the time. 

As a side note, the wife and I just purchase a brand new bedroom set (quite attractive I must admit) and upon delivery, I saw that it was manufactured in VietNam.  No really point in this, I'm just saying...

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