Hearts and Minds (1974) (112 min)
June 13, 2014 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hearts and Minds is a 1974 American documentary film about the Vietnam War directed by Peter Davis. The film’s title is based on a quote from President Lyndon B. Johnson: “the ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there”. The movie was chosen as Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 47th Academy Awards presented in 1975.
The film looks unflinchingly at the nature of power and horrible consequences of war. It is very much a pro-peace film, but uses the people who were there to speak for themselves. It also seeks to probe deeper underneath the American psyche of the times and evolves into a historical document about the violent social rupture that happened between the fifties and the sixties.
In many ways, it feels like a punch in the gut to watch the film. So many ideologies are laid bear….so many were false or misleading. In the end, the film leaves you thinking about the price of war – and who is given the task to bear that price.
The film premiered at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. Commercial distribution was delayed in the United States due to legal issues, including a temporary restraining order obtained by one of the interviewees, former National Security Advisor Walt Rostow who had claimed through his attorney that the film was “somewhat misleading” and “not representative” and that he had not been given the opportunity to approve the results of his interview. Columbia Pictures refused to distribute the picture, which forced the producers to purchase back the rights and release it by other means. The film was shown in Los Angeles for the one week it needed to be eligible for consideration in the 1974 Academy Awards. Truly deserving of the Oscar it received – and worthy of repeated viewing.
Watch the trailer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071604/
Free to the Public