"Sometimes we fail to see the full picture..."
- Religious Sermon Broadcast (Radio Preacher)
Hearts of Darkerness. Grisly mondo styled Vietnam war documentary produced by Dino de Laurentiis, that incorporates both b&w and colour stock footage. Showing the horrors of the Indochina conflict that most would sooner not see (or those old enough would sooner not live through again).
Feeling in a brave mood I put myself through this gut wrenchingly painful 90 minute viewing experience, thats reminiscent of the sort of shock material you regularly stumbled onto on stileproject.com or their ilk, mixed with those geography docus you was forced to see in school (native boobs and all). Agreeably wasn't helped by having to view it without English subtitles, so the featured Gigi Proietti narration was lost on my ears. The bulk of 'Vietnam guerra senza fronte' (translates to 'Vietnam War Without Front Lines') footage focuses on Vietnamese propaganda at turning farmers into soldiers. And the US marines sometimes inhumane treatment of captured prisoners, though it does show American medics helping suffering civilians and children. Rumored by shady traders to be Joe D'Amato on camera (which is impossible because other than a few map diagrams its entirely stock footage). It's not likely to be hitting Criterion's docu wing anytime soon, but in its credit it seems to keep a relatively impartial stance. Eesshhh I can stomach fiction, but fact is often so hard to handle. I rarely do these sort of graphic war docus, sure as a teen I'd watch mondo movies without much regard for what I actually witnessed. (I'd like to think it was just a way of proving how tough I was).
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
Theres lighter stuff like vintage agriculture & market footage, GI's picking up prostitutes, a Saigon Moulin Rouge cabaret show and Vietnamese Elvis rock'n'roll tribute. And darker stuff I'd sooner forget like war graves, napalm bombing raids and aftermath, medical footage. Ohh the infamous footage of the blazing Mahayana Buddhist monk priest martyr (shown on the cover of Rage Against The Machines debut LP).
Originally taken from Letterboxd