DVD: Sir! No Sir!
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• "Because it's bolstered by proud memories of Vietnam vets who turned against the war, Sir! No Sir! rings with an exultant, even elated tone." - Robert Koehler, Variety
• "In Iraq we are fighting an immoral war, much the same as Vietnam 40 years ago. Today's soldiers, armed with the knowledge gained from watching Sir! No Sir! have the potential to rise up and stop another war that should never have started. Get this into the hands of our troops in Iraq and just wait for the movement to erupt." - Tim Goodrich, co-founder, Iraq Veterans Against the War
In the 1960's an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This movement didn't take place on college campuses, but in barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated elite military colleges like West Point. And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. It was a movement no one expected, least of all those in it. Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile. And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, "infested the entire armed services." Yet today few people know about the G.I. movement against the war in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War has been the subject of hundreds of books and films, both fiction and non-fiction, but this story - the story of the rebellion of thousands of American soldiers against the war - has never been told in film. This is certainly not for lack of evidence. By the Pentagon's own figures, 503,926 "incidents of desertion" occurred between 1966 and 1971; officers were being "fragged" (killed with ragmentation grenades by their wnt roops) at an alarming rate; and by 1971 entire units were refusing to go into battle in unprecedentd numbers. In the course of a few short years, over 200 underground newspapers were pubished by soldiers around the world. Local and national antiwar organizations were joined by thousands; thousands more demonstrated against the war at every major military base in the world in 1970 and '71, including in Vietnam itself. Stockades and federal prisons were filling up with soldiers jailed for their opposition to the war and the military.
Yet, today, with hundreds of thousands of American G.I.'s once again occupying countries on the other side of the world, these history-changing events have been erased from America's public memory.
Sir! No Sir! aims to change all that. The film does four things:
1) Brings to life the history of the G.I. movement through the stories of those were part of it;
2) Reveals the explosion of defiance that the movement gave birth to with never-before-seen archival material;
3) Explores the profound impact that movement had on the militay and on the war itself; and
4) Tells the story of how and why the G.I. movement has been replaced with the mythic fabrication of the spat-upon veteran. (See the book "The Spitting Image" by Jerry Lembcke)
Sir! No Sir! is a film that challenges deeply-held beliefs not just about the Vietnam War and those who fought it, but about the world we live in today. It is a vivid portrayal of William Faulkner's famous observation that "the past isn't dead; it isn't even past."
SOME REVIEWS . . .
• "A must-see documentary that uncovers half-forgotten history, history that is still relevant but not in ways you might be expecting." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
• "This is powerful stuff, offering us not only a new look at the past, but to the unavoidably relevant insights into the present." - Elizabeth Weitzman, N.Y. Daily News
• Sir! No Sir! so vividly evokes the rage, passion and provocation of the era it chronicles that it feels up-to-the-minute." - Gene Seymour, Newsday
• "The soldiers' disillusionment at what they saw in Vietnam is palpable, and Zeiger does a service by bringing their stories out of history's history's forgotten files and into the light." - Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
• See also the newly revised book, "Soldiers In Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War" by David Cortwright [product code: BK-SIR]