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Hearts and Minds Essay

Movies and documentaries have a way of touching the lives of many. For the most part, they are geared towards the exhibition of truths that are hidden from other people. The documentary, “Hearts and Minds”, mirrored the numerous difficulties experienced by the Vietnamese in the hands of the American soldiers. The harsh realities shown by the American soldiers towards the Vietnamese was quite difficult to believe, for we all know how the Americans would care for any other individual. Directed by Peter Davis, the documentary showed different clips that prove the harsh attitude towards people at that time.

Even the speech of former President Lyndon Johnson was shown in the said documentary. To give people a great feel of the said timeline, much of the most famous details during that particular time were shown. The type of music, clothes, and even some old archives were shown. In this manner, it would become easier for the audiences to understand what was being explained to them. I admire the montage feeling provided by the documentary. Together with the voice over, watching the documentary was like watching any other historical how. However, what sets it apart from the rest were the heartbreaking realities exhibited.

I could not help but wonder as to how people were treated unfairly and how other people could bear causing pain to others. One of the scenes that caught my attention was the funeral of a soldier. Surrounding the coffin were grieving people, including the family and friends. However, for some reason, one grieving lady was stopped from following the coffin being laid to rest. This particular scene was contrasted with a clip showing the interview of the general who led the Vietnam War. Furthermore, there were several other interviews included in the documentary.

Although I am not of Vietnamese, origin I was heartbroken by the difficulties experienced at that time. For the longest time, they experienced pain, both physical and emotional, while they struggled to raise their families accordingly. A particular scene exemplified the hardships endured by the Vietnamese during that particular time. The scene showed how the prisoners of the war were sitting restless and not paying attention to what their employer had in mind. I felt pity with the condition these people experienced, toppled by the excessive torture and inhumane humiliations provided by the American soldiers.

After watching the documentary, one could not help but question what has been taught in class during our younger days. I was surprised at how the outcome of this war has been, including the participation that the American soldiers portrayed. However, due to the extensive information provided, some critics may also form their own conclusion as to how the said war was used as propaganda. On the other hand, it would be expected that some people would opt to be biased towards the Vietnamese and consider them to be victims of the American occupation.

Regardless of everything that has been said, I believe that we all have our own perceptions towards things. Personally, I believe that the goal of this film was to show the other side of history that not everyone was aware of. In this manner, I would be able to form my own beliefs as to how people would be able to learn from these hurtful experiences. It is useless for us to keep on living in the past—we should all move forward in helping make a different in this lifetime. I must say that I recommend this film to everyone, especially those who are currently studying about the history of the United States.


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