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Winter Soldier (1972)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

War Lore

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Winter Soldier on DVD

The explosive documentary Winter Soldier (1972) comes to us from the past, but it's amazingly relevant, and impossible to watch without thinking of current events. At a press conference, bearded soldiers with shaggy hair tell their harrowing stories of atrocities in Vietnam and the mental process by which they allowed themselves to commit them. One soldier described himself and his colleagues as turning into animals. Upon returning to the U.S., these men found it difficult to reconcile the things they had seen and done. Take the most shocking scenes from Full Metal Jacket, Casualties of War or any other Hollywood Vietnam movie, and they become so much powdered sugar compared to what really happened. Made by an anonymous collective of 19 filmmakers.

DVD Details: Now it can be told: New Yorker's 2006 DVD release reveals the 19 filmmakers, which include Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A.), Robert Fiore (Pumping Iron) and Lucy Massie Phenix (You Got to Move). In an amazing DVD extra, filmmakers participate in modern-day roundtable (18 minutes) discussing their experiences in making Winter Soldier. Other extras include three short films made from the same footage, a trailer and an extensive photo gallery, as well as a huge collection of pdf documents (available via DVD-Rom on both Mac and PC).

Starring: Joe Bangert, Scott Camil, Evan Haney, John Kerry, Michael Oliver, Rusty Sachs, Ken Campbell
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Fred Aronow, Nancy Baker, Joe Bangert, Rhetta Barron, Robert Fiore, David Gillis, David Grubin, Jeff Holstein, Barbara Jarvis, Al Kaupas, Barbara Kopple, Mark Lenix, Michael Lesser, Lee Osborne, Lucy Massie Phenix, Roger Phenix, Benay Rubenstein, Nancy Miller Saunders, Michael Weil
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes
Date: September 2, 2005

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