Billed as the first Vietman film to show both sides of the conflict, this tries to have its cake and eat it. Based on the diary of a young, idealistic Vietcong soldier (here called Ho, played by Whatley), it is narrated by the equally sympathetic US officer who finds it, Captain Keen (Bridges). It therefore dispels the myth of the 'faceless enemy', while retaining a convienient Western identification figure. To be fair, as the opposing forces vie for tactical advantage in the heavily militarised 'Iron Triangle', this strategy does yield some intriuging moments. In the American camp, Keen clashes with his ruthless South Vietnamese and French colleagues over their relentless propagandising and routine use of torture. Likewise, Ho's professional soldiering is compromised by the ideological point-scoring of Communist party official Khoi (Ishida). Naturally, when Keen is later captured by Ho and his men, a professional respect develops between the two. Sadly, the sporadic battle scenes are too messy to be fully effective, so one's over-riding feeling is that writer/director Weston has his heart in the right place, but his liberal politics and cinematic technique all over the place.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Eric Weston, John Bushelman, Lawrence Hilbrand|
Haing S Ngor