Not the Way It Was: Spike Lee’s Shallow Film on Viet Nam

It is now 2:00AM in Portland, Oregon. I just got through  watching Spike Lee’s 2hr. and 35min. film on Viet Nam. I have two words to describe this film:  EXTREMELY SHALLOW.

I was very disappointed in Spike Lee. I thought he had more depth. Not only did he make the Vietnamese  in the film look and act stupid, but he  made the five black actors playing  five black soldiers look and act superficial.

I “served” ( and I use that word loosely ) with black soldiers in Viet Nam. I knew some of them very well. Many of them were medics. I my opinion, none of those black soldiers would have liked this film.

It did not help the cause of Black History, as so many young people, black and white, are probably going to give this film a lot of credence.

As a Viet Nam veteran, this film was an  embarrassment.  Spike Lee did not get this film right. The main actor, Delroy Lindo, who  is well known in Hollywood, played the part of an American soldier who hated ” Gooks.”

On top of that, the soldier he played  wore a baseball cap that had this  written on it: “Make America Great Again.”

That part of the story was utterly absurd, along with the gold they were trying to get  back to the U.S.  You would have to see the movie to understand.

The only part of the movie that I felt had some credibility was the historical content of what  was happening in the U.S. during the time  period of this film.  Too bad, Spike Lee just didn’t get it. Too bad, a lot of people are going to think this film depicts the way it was.

Too bad, there was a lot of killing in this movie at the expense of the Vietnamese. Too bad, the Vietnamese were disrespected by this American made movie.

Too bad I watched this film, thinking it might have some historical substance. Too bad a close friend of mine in Viet Nam  who was a black medic had to die as a result of being in Viet Nam. Rest In Peace Willie Hemphill. I’m glad you never saw this film.

More articles by:

Mike Hastie served as an Army Medic in Vietnam.

Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach