Visual essay — Loin du Vietnam (continued)
In the section entitled “Why We Fight,” a policy speech by U.S. commander General Westmoreland, denouncing “unpatriotic” protesters, is heard but his TV image is garbled, as Marker exults in the visual detritus of official U.S. culture… …while among his elite Republican audience Pepsi CEO Joan Crawford is recognized by cinephile Marker. A 5-minute interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro, by FfV collaborator Roger Pic, vaunts the necessity of armed people’s movements, and links the Vietnamese war with ongoing revolutions in Latin America and Africa.
The filmmakers meet Anne Morrison, widow of the Quaker activist Norman Morrison, who immolated himself in front of the Pentagon in honor of Vietnam’s Buddhist monks who had made the same gesture and victims of napalm: "I knew Norman was capable of sacrificing everything for others. To act otherwise would have been unbearable for him”… …while a young Vietnamese woman in exile with the same name Ann and an identical family to Morrison’s speaks of her admiration for the American woman and her martyr husband, and... … the Vietnamese poster of their American hero is shown.
The next long sequence focuses on other forms of U.S. resistance, including street theatre highlighting the suffering of bombing victims ... ….and again the demonstration on Wall Street… …that is greeted by queerbaiters.
The major New York demo of April 1967 is shown ... ... highlighting black nationalist participants... …and giant puppets of U.S. power.
Meanwhile on Times Square a lone demonstrator and his son simply chants the mantra “napalm, napalm” and explains that kids like his are the targets over there... …while an angry mother of a G.I. challenges a demonstrator with another mantra “My country right or wrong.” Children play a Vietnam wargame against a backdrop of New York graffiti…
…and a radical theatre group offers an anti-war street performance that is surprisingly similar... …while Klein’s camera notices a store window positioning LBJ beside Batman, leading to a whole collage of grim pop culture collages... …linking violence and consumer advertising...
…with fierce irony. A lawyer from Harlem critiques U.S. eagerness to fight not at home but “10,000 miles from its own shore”… …waging war on the world,” his voice lingering over a TV commercial of an American nuclear family and a [symbolic?] sunset.
The final movement of the film compares citizens of Vietnam, a poor society, moving amid a bombed-out village, or ... …. in armed processions (more images from Ivens and Loridan)… …with citizens of the rich societies of France and the United States ....
…moving through peaceful urban streets.    
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