Learning Beyond the Classics: Hollywood In and Out of Vietnam
Directed by Winterfilm Collective
With Kenneth Campbell, Joe Bangert, Scott Shimabukuro
Not Rated, 96 minutes, Blu-ray
In February 1971, one month after the revelations of the My Lai massacre, an astonishing public inquiry into war crimes committed by American forces in Vietnam was held at a Howard Johnson motel in Detroit. The Vietnam Veterans Against the War organized this event called the Winter Soldier Investigation. More than 125 veterans spoke of atrocities they had witnessed and committed. Though the event was attended by press and television news crews, almost nothing was reported to the American public. Yet, this unprecedented forum marked a turning point in the anti-war movement. It was a pivotal moment in the lives of young vets from around the country who participated, including the young John Kerry. Their courage in testifying, their desire to prevent further atrocities and to regain their own humanity, provide a dramatic intensity that makes seeing Winter Soldier an unforgettable experience.
About the Series
Hollywood In and Out of Vietnam
While often referred to as the “living room war” due to its insertion in the home via television, the Vietnam War became a common subject matter for films inside and outside the Hollywood studio system for years after the fighting ended. This capsule course looks at three major Hollywood studio films on the subject of the Vietnam War while also looking for comparisons and contrasts with three films made without the studio system’s budget, access, and (un)written rules.
About the Instructor
Peter Cajka is Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Notre Dame’s Department of American Studies. His research sits at the intersection of Catholic Studies, the history of ideas, and the history of sexuality. His book, Follow Your Conscience: The Catholic Church and the Spirit of the Sixties, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2021.