We Went to War

Film

We Went to War

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Mar 25 2013

This artful, melancholic film sees British documentary-maker Michael Grigsby revisit the lives of three Vietnam veterans in smalltown Texas whom he first encountered in his 1970 film ‘I Was a Soldier’. With sorrowful inevitability, Grigsby finds that time has not healed all: two of the men still bear the deep psychological scars of conflict and the other died more than a decade ago of the after-effects of being exposed to Agent Orange, leaving a wounded widow and angry daughter.

Counselling and compensation have eluded these men, and there’s a troubling sense of time having not moved on at all – something movingly stressed by Grigsby in a compelling sequence in which we see the same person driving round a virtually identical block both now and in 1970. Just as his subjects have so much space to think and too little way of processing those thoughts, so this film allows us space for silence, observation and reflection.

Seventy-six-year-old Grigsby died earlier this month, so ‘We Went to War’ is his final film.

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Release details

UK release:

2012

Duration:

90 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Michael Grigsby

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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Paul Murphy

The warm, humanist and engaging Mike Grigsby came to speak to us film students at Birkbeck last year and previewed We Went to War back to back with I Was a Soldier. Both were excellent and convey the isolation and lack of support od figures dislocated in a small American town. Really sad to hear of his passing. Not seen the whole film yet - was full at Sheffield DocFest! so risking five stars on the preview.

Paul Murphy

The warm, humanist and engaging Mike Grigsby came to speak to us film students at Birkbeck last year and previewed We Went to War back to back with I Was a Soldier. Both were excellent and convey the isolation and lack of support od figures dislocated in a small American town. Really sad to hear of his passing. Not seen the whole film yet - was full at Sheffield DocFest! so risking five stars on the preview.

Emily Taylor

Saw this excellent and moving film at the ICA on 24 March. It is spellbinding. The visuals are mesmeric, images of roads, birds freewheeling, fields and life in country Texas contrast with the stories told by Vietnam Veterans more than 40 years since their return. It's not blood and guts, it's worse - as their ghostlike life and failure to reintegrate with society slowly unfolds. A memorable scene involves veterans from the first Gulf war and Afghanistan. These are tough guys, and they all tell the same story. Moving and beautifully realised.

Emily Taylor

Saw this excellent and moving film at the ICA on 24 March. It is spellbinding. The visuals are mesmeric, images of roads, birds freewheeling, fields and life in country Texas contrast with the stories told by Vietnam Veterans more than 40 years since their return. It's not blood and guts, it's worse - as their ghostlike life and failure to reintegrate with society slowly unfolds. A memorable scene involves veterans from the first Gulf war and Afghanistan. These are tough guys, and they all tell the same story. Moving and beautifully realised.