Ivan Ivanov-Vano’s condemnation of the American war in Vietnam trades in some of the crude images one associates with Soviet propaganda: a soldier gunning down a child; clamoring capitalists superimposed over the killing fields. And yet its animation style is surprisingly subtle and its tone more elegiac than one might expect. Set to Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” the film uses Christian imagery to underline the suffering inflicted by the American war machine. Interestingly, Ivanov-Vano compliments Vietnamese casualties with American civilians mourning their dead and protesting their government.
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This is powerful film making. If only we in the US had the distance from ourselves to be with what this is saying.
Haunting, beautiful, and crude.