Sir! No Sir! A Film About The Gi Movement Against The War In Vietnam.
This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960's–one that had profound impact on American society, yet has been
virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time.
In the 1960’s an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This movement didn’t take place on college campuses, but in
barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated
elite military colleges like West Point. And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. It was a movement no one expected, least of all those
in it. Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile. And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, infested the entire armed services. Yet
today few people know about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War has been the subject of hundreds of films, both fiction and non-fiction, but this story–the story of the rebellion of thousands of
American soldiers against the war–has never been told in film.This is certainly not for lack of evidence. By the Pentagon’s own figures, 503,926
“incidents of desertion” occurred between 1966 and 1971; officers were being “fragged”(killed with fragmentation grenades by their own troops)
at an alarming rate; and by 1971 entire units were refusing to go into battle in unprecedented numbers. In the course of a few short years, over 100
underground newspapers were published by soldiers around the world; local and national antiwar GI organizations were joined by thousands; thousands
more demonstrated against the war at every major base in the world in 1970 and 1971, including in Vietnam itself; stockades and federal prisons were
filling up with soldiers jailed for their opposition to the war and the military.
Yet few today know of these history-changing events.
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I was part of that movement during the 60’s, and have an intimate connection with it. For two years I worked as a civilian at the Oleo Strut in
Killeen, Texas–one of dozens of coffeehouses that were opened near military bases to support the efforts of antiwar soldiers. I helped organize
demonstrations of over 1,000 soldiers against the war and the military; I worked with guys from small towns and urban ghettos who had joined the
military and gone to Vietnam out of a deep sense of duty and now risked their lives and futures to end the war; and I helped defend them when they
were jailed for their antiwar activities. My deep connection with the GI movement has given me unprecedented access to those involved, along with a
tremendous amount of archival material including photographs, underground papers, local news coverage and personal 8mm footage.
Sir! No Sir! reveals how, thirty years later, the poem by Bertolt Brecht that became an anthem of the GI Movement still resonates:
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect: He can think.
The film that is rocking the country!
A powerful documentary that uncovers half-forgotten history, history that is still relevant but not in ways you might be expecting.
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Speaks not just to the legacy of our misadventures in Vietnam, but to the entire uncertain future of a nation at war. Bill Gallo, Village Voice
Superb...moves with nearly as much breathless momentum as the movement itself.
- Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly
A film that threatens the war movement with every showing, the Bush administration should outlaw it from all theaters within fifty miles of an
armed forces recruiting station.
- Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
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Watch the Trailer
This thread is part of a special by-permission advertising relationship with the film production company, Displaced Films.