Film 324 in the ‘1001 Films to See Before You Die’ challenge is 1968’s “In the Year of the Pig”. Directed by Emile de Antonio this historical war documentary is about the origins of The Vietnam War. This film consists of nothing but interviews mixed with random footage and photos from the war. There were many points where I had no clue what anyone was talking about. Mostly because everyone they interviewed did nothing but mumble. I caught glimpses of what was said and from from what I gathered, or from how the film made it out, The Vietnam War started when Ho Chi Minh and The French got into an argument about The French refusing to remove their troops from Vietnam. At least that’s what the film told me. This film did not feel like a documentary. It felt like a clipshow that wasn’t very well edited together. Apart from that, I don’t remember anything that I saw. Just a bunch of old men mumbling about who to blame for everything. I lasted 31 minutes before I fell asleep. In 2008, Glenn Erickson from DVD Savant had this to say about the film, “In the Year of the Pig now plays as priceless record of history that would otherwise be lost or suppressed”. Fun Fact #1 – There was such hostility towards this film that theaters showing it received bomb threats and were vandalised. Fun Fact #2 – The poster of Marine Corporal Michael Wynn would be used again as the cover for The Smith’s second album “Meat is Murder”. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I managed to say while watching 1968’s “In the Year of the Pig”.
Film – In the Year of the Pig
Year – 1968
Director – Emile de Antonio
Written by – Emile de Antonio
Staring – Harry S. Ashmore, Daniel Berrigan, Joseph Buttinger
IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
My Rating – ZZZZZzzzz
Length – 103 min (1h 43min)
Genre – Documentary, History, War
We open with a photo of a statue
That quote was on screen for about 5 seconds and I barely read it
Cut to an old man running away with his kids while bowing to the cameraman
THOSE MEN WERE ON FIRE
Photo of a child smoking a cigarette
Cut to a man rotating a globe
“Why do us Americans enjoy punishing ourselves?”
Thanks for showing the title of the film for the second time – In case anyone missed it/forgot
Cut to men in hats chatting outside a cafe
Hello Paul Mus, Professor of Buddhism
I have no idea what he’s talking about
Hello Jean who we find outside a blacksmiths but it used to be a newspaper office
Why are we talking about Ho Chi Minh?
Hello Kenneth Landon
Hello Thurston B Morton
I still have no idea what they are talking about
Kenneth’s bowtie looks real cheaply made
So… The Chinese didn’t want the French in their country? Or is it the other way around?
Back to Paul Mus as we look at footage of Ho Chi Minh wandering around a ship
Hello Charlton Ogburn
So… Ho Chi Minh hated the French?
Hello David from The New York Times
So… They tied up a Vietnamese man decide to torture him by giving him a nuggie
Charles Wilson then talks about all the weapons they are sending to Vietnam
“We’re sending planes but no pilots”
The side parting in that man’s hair does not suit him
William Corson then talks about conflict as we see soldiers hiking through the forest carrying things on tree trunks
So…. The Vietnam War was started by The French?!? And then The Americans came to their rescue?
The French lost as we see Vietnamese people celebrating
Is this the American Nation Anthem playing? If so on what instrument?
Joseph McCarthy then talks about whether senators will continue sending money to the military in China
This film is really dragging
What is he reading about?
Everett Dirksen then says everyone was against the war and, I think, he blamed Eisenhower for everything
Now for the war in Saigon
That suit is too big for the Vietnamese President
Why does everyone wear circle framed glasses?