Hearts and Minds

"Very Good"

Hearts and Minds Review


Peter Davis's Hearts and Minds is an archetypal "important" documentary about the war in Vietnam. It's very sympathetic to the Vietnamese (which I am not saying is a bad thing), damning the war and the government to the point where I'm surprised it wasn't somehow censored on release.

Many of Davis's interviews are damning -- soldiers, former government officials, and draft dodgers -- but it's his chats with Vietnamese nationals that do the worst. One man is shown building coffins for children. Another cries that Nixon has murdered his two children and his mother. The archival footage of burning huts, air raids, Agent Orange sprayers, etc. only make his case even stronger.

But even when Davis tries to do his duty by interviewing the other side, he selectively edits to make the military look stupid, brutal, violent, pig-headed, corrupt, or worse (namely: obsessed with Asian hookers). I don't really doubt these traits are present, but Davis really goes out of his way to make the government look bad.

If Davis weren't so obviously compromised, I'd say his Hearts and Minds was the most uncompromising look at the Vietnam War you'll find. In a way, it is: It doesn't skirt the issues and it doesn't flinch in showing you the war as it really was. But Davis also tends to gloss over the loss of American life in the country -- that the soldiers who were sent there to fight and die really had no choice in the matter. Making them look stupid only deepens the wounds.

The Criterion DVD features a commentary track from Davis -- quite explanatory but a little apologetic, too.



Hearts and Minds

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Monday 17th November 1975

Budget: $500 thousand

Distributed by: Rialto

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 6

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Danny Keough as Andries Fourie, Patrick Shai as Matthew Kage, Septula Sebogodi as Rambo, Ernest Ndhlovu as Samson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.