Hearts and Minds

Synopsis: This film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism helped create and prolong this bloody conflict. The film also endeavors to give voice to the Vietnamese people themselves as to how the war has affected them and their reasons why they fight the United States and other western powers while showing the basic humanity of the people that US propaganda tried to dismiss.
Genre: Documentary, War
Director(s): Peter Davis
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

When the Second World War was over, we

were the one great power in the world.

The Soviets had a substantial

military machine,

but they could not

touch us in power.

We had this enormous force

that had been built up.

We had the greatest

fleet in the world.

We'd come through the

war economically sound.

And I think that, in addition to

feeling a sense of responsibility,

we also began to feel...

the-the sense of a world power,

that possibly we could control

the future of the world.

Our vision of progress is not

limited to our own country.

We extend it to all the

peoples of the world.

Military action in Indochina.

French regulars land along the coast

in search of roving communist bands.

For France, it represents

a tremendous sacrifice...

of manpower and

financial resources.

Without American help,

the burden would be too great.

I do not expect that there is going to

be a communist victory in Indochina.

I affirm that Secretary Dulles...

offered me two atomic bombs.

Two, uh...

Neither one, neither three. Two.

If Indochina goes, several

things happen right away.

The Accra Peninsula, the little bit

of end hanging on down there...

would be scarcely defensible.

The tin and the tungsten...

that we so greatly value from

that area would cease coming.

We don't see the end of the

tunnel, but, uh, I must say...

I don't think it's darker than it was a

year ago, in some ways lighter. Yes?

So we must be ready

to fight in Vietnam,

but the ultimate victory

will depend upon the hearts...

and the minds of the people

who actually live out there.

Throughout the war in Vietnam,

the United States has exercised

a degree of restraint...

unprecedented in the annals of war.

There was just one thing,

one small word that enabled

myself and my buddies...

to stay alive those many years.

That one thing was faith.

Faith in my family,

my God and my country.

I remembered high school.

I remembered playing sports there.

And I can remember

my coach saying...

"When the going gets tough,

the tough get going,

because winners never quit

and quitters never win."

Why did I go to Vietnam?

I will have to go back to 1965,

when I was 22 years old.

At that time, communism was once

again trying to muscle its way...

into a free country.

That would assert that there's a

majority of people in that country...

that want to be communist.

Why do they need us then?

Because they were subjected to,

uh, military attack from outside.

Uh, the, uh...

Are you really asking me

this goddamn silly question?

- You really want me to go into this?

- Yes.

I mean... I mean, you know,

we really got to go back to...

You just want me to go back

to the origins of this thing then.

All right, I'll do it, but this is

pretty pedestrian stuff, I must say,

at this late stage of the game.

Honestly it is.

I'll do it. All right.

- There's disagreement about the origins.

- No, there's not.

No, there's not. There's no doubt.

All right, I'll answer your question,

you can throw away that tape.

I didn't expect to have to go back

to this kind of sophomoric stuff,

but I'll do it.

The problem, uh, began, uh,

in its present phase,

after the Sputnik,

the launch of the Sputnik

in 1957, October.

This opened a phase

of not well-coordinated,

but universally optimistic and

hopeful communist enterprise...

in many parts of the world.

Renewed hostile actions...

against United States ships on the

high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin...

have today required me to order

military forces of the United States...

to take action in reply.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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