Monday, May 07, 2007

Sir! No Sir! on The Sundance Channel tonight


With the news that US war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey have been refused, in their appeals, refugee status in Canada, it's all the more important to get the word out on Sir! No Sir! David Zeiger's documentary that addresses war resistance within the military during Vietnam. It airs tonight.

"In addition, the documentary Sir! No Sir! traces the war resistance within the military during Vietnam and it will air at 9:00 pm (EST) on The Sundance Channel followed at 10:30 p.m. by The Ground Truth which examines the Iraq war and features Jimmy Massey and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Kelly Dougherty among others. (Filling in for Rebecca, Betty wrote about Sir! No Sir! last night.)" That statement's been in the snapshots Monday through Friday for awhile now (Betty part since Thursday). Tonight the documentary airs on The Sundance Channel, followed by The Ground Truth.

Actor Troy Garity narrates the film (Barbershop, Barbershop II, Soldier's Girl, Eichmann, etc.) Garity's mother also appears in the film -- activist, author, actress, feminist, pioneer Jane Fonda. Jerry Lembecke blows apart the spitting myth, Howard Levy, Susan Schnall and many others share their stories of resising an earlier illegal war.

From "DVD Must See: Sir! No! Sir" (The Third Estate Sunday Review -- and yes, we wrongly added an extra exclamation point -- in August of last year):

Hey, what would it have been like if the ones resisting during Vietnam had included soldiers? That would be pretty wild, right?
Hey, know what? They did. That happened and a lot more. What may be most shocking is that this history and reality that has vanished (replaced with revisionist fiction). As Jerry Lembcke points out, "This was stuff that was in living rooms all over America so people knew this. And this is an important piece we're talking about: how memory about the war has been rewritten, has been reconstructed. This is gone. This has been erased. This has been displaced."
G.I.'s resisted, G.I.'s protested. In many ways that you may not have heard about. That's just one reason to see Sir! No! Sir! now out on DVD. The documentary, directed by David Zieger, does with film what Howard Zinn does with text -- unearths the history they don't rush to teach, the knowledge they let fall through the cracks.
Memory Lane Tripping is a good reason to see the film but it's equally true that the stories shared in the film matter today. Friday, the news broke that Ricky Clousing, AWOL for over year, held a news conference and turned himself in. This Thursday, August 17th, Ehren Watada (the first known commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq) faces his Article 32 hearing (Courage to Resist and are organizing and trying to get the word out for "a National Day of Education" on August 16th). Suzanne Swift was arrested at her mother's home this summer, Kevin Benderman appeals the verdict in his case, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey will shortly learn the verdict on whether they'll be allowed to remain in Canada.
In Sir! No! Sir!, you'll hear echoes of some of today's stories. You'll hear Susan Schnall explain how the idea to leaflet a military base from a plane came about and you'll hear how she came to the decision to wear her uniform to a protest and her court martial that followed. The film examines the coffeehouse movement and it's importance in raising awareness and ending the war. Specifically, the film zooms in on The Oleo Strut, a coffee house in Killeen, TX with historical footage and pulls back to examine others -- their purpose and the attacks on them (from vigilantes and from law enforcement).

And you won't want to miss the footage (from FTA) of Rita Martinson's amazing performance of "Soldier, We Love You" to a crowd of enlisted soldiers. The amazing documentary airs tonight on The Sundance Channel.