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Far From Vietnam

(Loin du Vietnam)
France 1967. Directors: Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais

NEW RESTORATION! “The cinema at last has its Guernica” (Richard Roud, The Guardian). This milestone political documentary, a collective protest against the U.S. war in Vietnam, features contributions from an array of (mostly) French cinema greats, including Godard. Chris Marker (Le Joli Mai, Sans Soleil) initiated and edited the project. Alain Resnais provides the only fictional episode, with Bernard Fresson playing a leftist intellectual trying to justify his reluctance to take a moral stand on Vietnam. Godard's segment, in which the director explains why it is impossible for him to make a film about Vietnam, deals with the same moral dilemma, and includes excerpts from his 1967 feature La Chinoise. Other sections explore the role of image and media in a war heavily covered by television; the historical origins of the conflict; and the pro- and anti-war movements in the U.S. and abroad. Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh make appearances. “An important film, a beautiful film, a moving film” (Roud). “A landmark in the European cinema ... A new kind of film — not an anthology-piece in which each director contributes a sketch, but a real fusion of each individual’s material into a collective statement” (Michael Kustow, London Times). B&W and colour, DCP, in English and French with English subtitles. 115 mins.

 

REVIEWS

"One of the most effective political documentaries ever made."

Chicago Reader | full review

"Compelling both as artful propaganda and as a prophetic historical artifact."

Boston Globe | full review