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Winter Soldier - The Film

Winter Soldier Review

Broadcast on WPIX, Channel 11, January 27, 1972
by Jeffrey Lyons

Quickly I'll dismiss "Murders in the Rue Morgue," a cheesy remake of the Poe classic starring Jason Robards and Lili Palmer. It belongs in the trashcan. More important is "Winter Soldier", showing this week at the Whitney Museum. It's a documentary of the meeting of of the Vietnamese Veterans Against the War, held last year in Detroit. No matter what your beliefs on the war, the following dialogue from the film, all quotes, will surely make you sick at heart.

"It was like a hunting trip, and the gooks were animals...we'd cut off their ears and trade them for beers...the man on the street here at home is too busy making a buck or getting antifreeze for his car...we'd have to sing the marine corps hymn and pray for war every night at boot camp...sure, we pushed gooks out of copters...everyone did...we weren't supposed to see them as human...I carried a pistol for six months after I came home...some of us stoned this child to death just for a laugh because we were bored that day."

It's not a pretty picture, and all the stories can't be documented but the Mi Lai experience puts the tales of horror, from boot camp to return home, make it all possible. One American Indian soldier put it all into context, and made the film's message unforgettable. "No one told us it was wrong, the Indians signed treaties with the White Man, for as long as the grass shall grow as long as the river flows. Well someday soon, the grass won't grow and the river won't flow." Go see "Winter Soldier". You will remember it for the rest of your life.


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