Berlinale to mark 40th anniversary of 1968 anti-war movement

22nd January 2008, Comments 0 comments

The film festival will feature a series of films marking the student uprising.

Berlin (dpa) - The Berlin Film Festival is marking the 40th anniversary of the 1968 student uprising and the growing opposition to the Vietnam War with a series of movies about the war and US cinema, Berlinale organizers announced Monday.

The list of films to be shown as part of the Berlinale special include Robert Altman's black comedy about American doctors on the frontline "M*A*S*H," Emile de Antonio's experimental "In the Year of the Pig" and Mike Nichols' "Catch 22," which tells of the madness of war.

In particular, the Berlinale series, "War at Home - The Vietnam War in US Cinema" is being mounted to mark the 40th Anniversary of Berlin's so-called Vietnam Congress, which was organized by the Socialist German Student Association (SDS) in February 1968.

The Vietnam Congress also helped to trigger the student protest movement, which culminated in the uprisings across Europe that became known as May 1968.

This in turn led to growing criticism among German students about Germany's post World War II history.

At the same time, the student revolts across Europe and a deepening sense of anger in the US over the course of the Vietnam War helped to lead Hollywood directors to produce movies taking a critical look at the US involvement in war.

Also among the movies to shown at the Berlinale will be "The War at Home" by Barry Brown and Glenn Silber, which chronicles the anti-Vietnam movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Silber will present the film at the Berlinale.

From 1972 comes "Winter Soldier" by the Winterfilm Collective, which reports on a Vietnam Veterans Against the War conference and which documents reports of rape, torture and murder committed by American soldiers against civilians in Vietnam.

Also included in the line-up of films in the Berlinale special is "Basic Training" by Frederick Wiseman. The 1971 movie documents the horrors of daily life in a boot camp where young recruits are turned into soldiers.

Ray Kellogg's 1968 film "The Green Berets" starring Hollywood legend John Wayne was one of the few Hollywood films that tried to justify the US military action in Vietnam, reducing the war to something like a western with the Vietcong in the role of the Indians.


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