Following on from the previous weekend’s screenings of This Is Where We Take Our Stand, Winter Soldier consists of footage of testimony given by Vietnam veterans of the routine atrocities they observed and committed.
In 1971 Vietnam Veterans Against the War invited returning soldiers to go to Detroit and speak out about the war crimes they had committed and witnessed while stationed there. The Winter film collective realised the historical importance of the event and documented it, creating Winter Soldier. The documentary was barely seen by audiences until was finally released to American cinemas in 2005. Many choking back tears as they spoke, veterans (including former Presidential candidate John Kerry) revealed shocking and officially sanctioned participation in horrific war crimes and acts of violence including the destruction of entire villages, the torture and rape of civilians, as well as executions of POWs.
Harrowing, chilling, and ultimately tragic, it’s a portrayal of how easily the dark side of human nature can be brought out.