Michael Moore on “Hearts and Minds”

NPR asked Michael Moore to discuss a list of his favorite DVDS. He said he’s only rented half a dozen of them, ever. He’d rather drive four hours to see a film on a big screen with other people. That said, he acknowledged that one of his most favorite movies of all time was the 1974 Vietnam documentary, Hearts and Minds.

According to NPR:

It should come as no surprise that one of Moore’s favorite films is a documentary that reveals the, er, truthiness that long plagued the U.S. government’s official pronouncements about the Vietnam War. The film won an Oscar — along with a fair amount of criticism — when it came out in 1974, the year before the war officially ended.

“It is the definitive account of the debacle we know as the Vietnam war,” Moore says. “This film is so well constructed, so emotional, so brilliantly put together — so many great moments.”

Moore says that to this day he still remembers the filmmaker’s interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971. Moore remembers Ellsberg telling the camera, “The question used to be, might it be possible that we were on the wrong side in the Vietnamese war? But we weren’t on the wrong side. We are the wrong side.”

“When he says that — we were the enemy — it really hits you,” Moore says. “To really know that that’s the truth when it comes to a place like Vietnam and now with Iraq — it hurts.”

“But if it hurts,” Moore says, “it probably should hurt.”

One of the most controversial flashpoints in the film was this sequence with General William Westmoreland:

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