Super Troopers documentary comes to Harwich

G.I. dissenters in David Zeiger's documentary "Sir! No Sir!" The film which will be shown in Harwich Friday recounts the opposition to the Vietnam War that existed within the ranks of the United States Army at the time and features Harwich's Joe Bangert.

Film opens in New York today, Harwich on Friday

Special to CapeCodToday by John Bangert

It isn't often that an awarding winning documentary film opens in the Harwich Community Center a couple days after its New York debut, but this film happens to feature local resident Joe Bangert who was active in an anti-war movement of a generation ago which is fostering the same resistance to war today

"Sir! No Sir! ", a documentary film about the GI movement during the Vietnam War, will have a very special screening this Friday, April 21, at the Harwich Community Center 100 Oak Street (across from Harwich High School) at 7:00 p.m.  This special film screening and will be followed by a discussion led by Joe Bangert, of Brewster who is featured in the film.

Two weeks ago US Army Iraq Veteran, Andrew Sapp, who just came back from his tour of Iraq, also spoke out against this wrongful war here in Harwich.

According to a story in today's Harwich Oracle,

The film, which includes Joe Bangert of Harwich in its cast, reveals the untold story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. Variety called it "the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960s - one that had a profound impact on American society, yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time... Bangert served in Vietnam in the Marines, and testified at the Winter Soldier Investigation, a hearing organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War... "America went through a choke, because they didn't want to believe that these things occurred in the name of the American people, supposedly supporting freedom and liberation and democracy throughout the world," Bangert said. "And there was this terrible slaughter, this terrible inane slaughter."

The New York Times review of the film today said,

In his smart, timely documentary about the G.I. Movement, "Sir! No Sir!," Mr. Zeiger takes a look at how the movement changed and occasionally even rocked the military from the ground troops on up. On one level the film serves as a corrective to the rah-rah rhetoric about Vietnam in such schlock entertainments as the 1980's "Rambo" franchise.

The review a few days before in The Village Voice was even stronger in its recommendation,

Super Troopers
A Vietnam war doc with powerful contemporary parallels

Sir! No Sir! never mentions the words Iraq or Afghanistan. It doesn't have to. Unseen and unremarked upon, those bloody venues nonetheless inhabit the entire 85 minutes of David Zeiger's impassioned documentary like some deadly, creeping virus for which there's no cure...

Sir! No Sir! recalls the follies and failures of one American war, but disturbing parallels to the one now being waged by the Bush administration are inescapable. For Zeiger, who as a young activist helped organize demonstrations of veterans against the war, the time is right to remember. To that end, he has assembled a collection of grizzled servicemen who have plenty to say about what happened to them. The myth of the silent vet reluctant to talk about his war experience goes up in smoke here.

This film "Sir, No Sir"! is sponsored locally by the following.
Winner of several awards
Winner of several Best Documentary awards at film festivals across the U.S., the film tells the little known story of the anti-war movement inside of the military in the words of the GI's themselves.  Alternating with historic footage are present day interviews with the veterans.  Their candid reflections are extremely relevant to contemporary events at the same time that they provide a needed revision to the distorted and incomplete view most Americans have of the controversial conflict that ended 30-some years ago.
  • Watch the trailer here.
  • Read the story line here.
We proudly and gratefully welcome home today's veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but are we listening to their stories?  If it is possible to learn from history, we have a great opportunity on Friday night.  
John Bangert     [email protected]         Phone: (508) 432-0545 -Harwich, MA
Andy Sapp        [email protected]   Phone: (978) 930-4731 -Concord, MA
Joe Bangert       [email protected]        Phone: (508) 896-6258 -Brewster, MA welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on