“Winter soldier” – truth about American war in Vietnam

In spite of being made 35 years ago and shown in many countries, the film “Winter soldier” will be shown in American cinemas since 16 January 2006 only.

Why does it take 35 years?

The answer is right in the first scenes when a veteran tells in details about American war crimes in Vietnam including taking Vietnamese prisoners into helicopters, tying them and throwing off the helicopters.


In the city - Detroit, Michigan, o­n the first days of February 1971, 109 war veterans attended a 3-day press conference named “Investigation of Winter soldier” held by the Vietnam Veterans Against War (VVAW). They are all young - aged from 20 to 27 and all have an obsession about war crimes they committed or witnessed in Vietnam battles.


This obsession is like a delay bomb in them, the fuse of which is the massacre in My Lai unveiled 1 month ago through the trial o­n Lieutenant William Calley.


They must tell the American people the truth behind the American unjust war in Vietnam.


The American mass media turned its back o­n this. The investigation would fall into obscurity if o­ne group of documentary filmmakers against war hadn’t filmed/ recorded the whole press conference.


It took them 8 months to design the film, to carefully select scenes of 36 hours to make a 95-minute valuable film named “Winter Soldier” (“Winter challenges the people’s spirit” said American Intellectual Thomas Paine – 18th Century).


Making film drove people tired and some gave it up halfway for the pressure, the complexity of the truth unveiled through witness statements and the significance to finish the film.


Even though Winter Soldier was shown afterwards and echoed in some European film festivals, it was seen then as a film of controversial arguments in America when the American War was fiercely o­n in Vietnam. Thus it was put o­n the shelf after a short show o­n o­ne American TV channel.


Only till Sept. 2005, the film showed up again in some small cinemas in America after Milestone Film Corporation got a deal with Winter Soldier filmmaker group. By 16 January till the end of February 2006, it will be o­n at 11 big cinemas in America.


This is an old documentary film but still up-to-date. It’s a present for American Pilot Hugh Thompson, who regardless of military order, rescued dozens of Vietnamese victims from the massacre by the American Army in My Lai, Quang Ngai.


America has o­nes like William Calley and subordinate soldiers who ruthlessly killed civilians in the war but also o­nes like Hugh Thompson and other thoughtful veterans who were conscience-striken and bravely told the truth.


In spite of being shown in a new time and context, the Winter Soldier is still welcomed and highly appreciated as a warning to the American government o­n the Iraq’s endless war.


According to Curly Cohen – reporter of weekly newspaper People, Winter Soldier should be shown at all schools in America – a country that is self-fighting.

According to Thanh Truc
Tuoi Tre