Going Upriver

I had the opportunity to join some of my team members for an advance screening of Going Upriver last night at the National Press Club. Bobby Muller of VVAF and Alliance for Security opened it up with a quick but moving talk about how we’ve tried to put Vietnam in a box and pretend it never existed. (It’s a part of his stump speech for the Tour of Duty, which we’re working with him on.) To a large extent, this rings very true for me. We never hear about the 3 million Vietnamese who lost their lives and the tens of thousands of American troops killed or injured. We only hear of the PTSD cases.More importantly, the John Kerry that this movie portrays is a different John Kerry than the media (and, arguably, his campaign) portrays today. I want the guy I saw in that movie to be president. The real John Kerry, who we saw in this movie, is a leader, a thinking, and willing to take risks. Not that you’d know that from what we’re seeing now. But it certainly sured up my vote.Going Upriver portrays such a good image of Kerry—by letting the facts and his actions speak for themselves—that focus groups have Naderites converting to Kerry voters at rates close to 60% from sources I’ve spoken to.Movie opens Friday Oct 1, so go see it for yourself, and bring an undecided voter with you. Unfortunately, it’s not playing anywhere in the state of Connecticut or other mildly insignificant states. But the good news is that it seems to have decent coverage in most of the swing states.Here’s what MoveOn had to say about the movie when Eli emailed this list:

Critical acclaim for Going Upriver includes the praise from Time Magazine, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly, which gave the film an “A” and said:”This potent and eye-opening documentaryshows us what the media has presented only in fragmentary glimpses: a compelling, blow-by-blow account of John Kerry’s service in Vietnam — and, more than that, the full revealing chronicle of how he ultimately came together with hundreds of his comrades to form Vietnam Veterans Against the War.”…”[P]art of what makes Going Upriver so moving is the tremulous sight of how close these protesters felt to all the soldiers still at war… Anyone who sees Going Upriver will find it hard to argue that what happened close to 35 years ago no longer matters in America today.”[1]

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