Rating: PG-13 for grisly war images and languages
Run Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
For the first time in history the presidential campaign is being waged in a movie theater. Documentaries are flowing fast and furious, from Michael Moore’s acerbic Fahrenheit 9/11 to Bush’s Brain. John Kerry’s gets his turn in this dedicated snub to the folks who are hanging a question mark over his armed services record.
the sole subject of this feature-length doc chronicling an upstanding young
American who felt it his obligation to serve his country in
Kerry’s disillusionment is the crux of this illuminating story that smacks of patent propaganda at the same time that is honors a hero of unusual derring-do. Kerry’s Silver Star for gallantry and intrepidity in action is the consistent theme, segueing into national recognition as an outspoken anti-war activist who happens to love his country.
As a leader
of the influential Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Kerry was a fixture
on the evening news in the early 70s. Considering his designs on a traditional
political career, Kerry’s high-profile showing at Dewey Canyon III (a militant
protest against Congress and the U.S. Government) seems akin to political
suicide. His stirring speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee doesn’t
lay any new groundwork, but emphasizes the man’s steadfast commitment to
Countless talking heads, supported by an abundance of archival footage and period photographs, hammer the point home with the stealth of a jack-hammer. Not a hint of objectivity, just a blatant political valentine to a hardy presidential hopeful.
Kerry’s courage under fire translates to the political playing field in large moral dimensions. Effective yet manipulative, and perfectly fair game for an election year.