As the Iraqi War continues and documentary filmmakers for that one definative film that will speak truth to power and bring an end to this senseless war, I think it might be wise to remember that Hearts and Minds was released in the US until after the Vietnam War was over. If a filmmaker is looking to change the hearts and minds of people today, about the Iraqi, war it must also be remembered that during the Vietnam conflict there was a major social revolution in this country. Part of Hearts and Minds speaks to America’s need to break free from its obsession with dominance and its goal to always succeed and remain a leader, if not ‘the leader’.
Hearts and Minds helped to show the devastating impact Vietnam had on both America and Vietnam, but it was not what helped stop the war. I would like to think that all it takes is one glimpse of an innocent child whose skin hangs off their burnt body due to napalm would make everyone think twice about the costs of war. Alas, callous souls can justify and rationalize anything when its happening to someone they don’t know. It’s not just enough to show the atrocities of war.
Today’s anti-war films seriously need to examine the lack of social upheaval and question how the younger generation of Americans are just as materialistic as their parents. It is this materialism-at-all-costs attitude, this need to consume that needs to be addressed before you can even begin to change hearts and minds over here about what happens over there.