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also known as Loin du Vietnam

Far from Vietnam1967

  • 4.0
Initiated and edited by Chris Marker, FAR FROM VIETNAM is an epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch and Alain Resnais in protest of American military involvement in Vietnam, made, per Marker's narration, "to affirm, by the exercise of their craft, their solidarity with the Vietnamese people in struggle against aggression." A truly collaborative effort, the film brings together an array of stylistically disparate contributions, none individually credited, under a unified editorial vision. The elements span documentary footage shot in North and South Vietnam and at anti-war demonstrations in the United States; a fictional vignette and a monologue that dramatize the self-interrogation of European intellectuals; interviews with Fidel Castro and Anne Morrison, widow of Norman Morrison, the Quaker pacifist who burned himself alive in front of the Pentagon in 1965; an historical overview of the conflict; reflections from French journalist Michèle Ray; and a range of repurposed media material. Passionately critical and self-critical, and as bold in form as it is in rhetoric, FAR FROM VIETNAM is a milestone in political documentary and in the French cinema.

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2 members like this review

If you are interested in the history of Vietnam War, especially resistance to the war, you really need to see this. Resnais and Godard contribute their critique of the war, each in their voice. The second part of the film presents striking footage of American protest. The film has been recently, beautifully restored to the best of its Kodak color glory. An important addition to the historical record; the themes here continue to haunt the US today.

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filmmaker

Member Reviews (5)

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filmmaker

If you are interested in the history of Vietnam War, especially resistance to the war, you really need to see this. Resnais and Godard contribute their critique of the war, each in their voice. The second part of the film presents striking footage of American protest. The film has been recently, beautifully restored to the best of its Kodak color glory. An important addition to the historical record; the themes here continue to haunt the US today.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Definitely worth a look, but you have to know about the Vietnam War to really appreciate it. I mainly wanted to watch the Godard and Resnais sequences, but it was unclear which one was Resnais. The Godard was, as usual, intriguing. The film dragged a bit, but was overall worthwhile.

D62710d4e018f3c5d7b3e923e2d8e3a4?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0031
top reviewer

i did not like g.i.jane(fonda) i really understand her now u.s.a. still seems to have things backwards when it comes to war

The best Western film ever made concerning the revolutionary struggle of the Vietnamese people. As the title suggests, “Western” is the key word in this appraisal. The film is not only of the West, but about the West. Its messaging aligns with Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism – criticism is aimed squarely at the ideological contradictions of the metropole – and we are provided with an occasionally too intimate view of the grotesque hypocrisy of 20th century imperialist genocide. A distinctly American fascism foams at the mouth with a murderous ignorance: in one scene, an anti-war protester is heckled by the same crowd that sincerely asks him “what is napalm?”

Jacques Meppiel’s editing takes centre stage more than any one “character,” and a frenetic, unforgiving form complements the pervasive theme of the culture industry’s complicity in unjust wars. Because of this, the interpolation of comic book illustrations feels more suitable and organic than it does in Godard’s La Chinoise, and it is moreover fully appropriate that Bernard Fresson’s exceptional “mauvaise foi” monologue is scripted, shot, and edited in the style of a conventional Hollywood movie.

There is extraordinary footage in this film, and great indignation over the immorality and injustice of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, which I share. The great mix of directors and styles is itself interesting, although some of the sequences work better than others. I watched only half of it before it grew a little tiresome, I'm sorry to say.