Thursday, November 1, 2018


In the Year of the Pig

During the throes of American intervention in Vietnam, de Antnio produced a visceral anti-war document. Contrary to the dominant public opinion in the U. S., the filmmaker perceived Ho Chi Minh as a great patriot of the Vietnamese people and crafted a work which condemned the efforts of imperial powers to overthrow his regime.-Harvard Film Archive

The timing of this documentary being made in the middle of American involvement in Vietnam (1968) makes its stance that we were doing the wrong thing most interesting working without the benefit of any hindsight. It makes the film seem more correct when viewed today, though less bold and controversial in the anti-war position it takes as I believe most have come to that conclusion that the war was a colossal mistake.

When selling propaganda to the American public (the war, not the movie) one thing I noticed here (depicted in the movie) that still remains true is the need to dehumanize the enemy. “They aren’t like you and me,” “They don’t hold life dear, like we do.” If we begin to believe that, then we can justify doing almost anything to our adversaries. If we believe stories about babies being taken out of incubators to die or news that a leader would gas his own people even when goes against his own interest then the propaganda battle is the first battle that is won and the rest tend to fall into place from there.  

In the Year of the Pig