Film: 7819

War + Military | 1960 | Sound | Colour + B/W


An amazing Anti-war propaganda film, highly stylised art film in a montage of changing but connected images and musings on the nature of injustice and war.

Sign: 'Please applaud with hands only'. What looks like a graduation ceremony. Lots of men in suits. People wearing academic robes. An American flag. A lectern. Lyndon Baines Johnson at the lectern? Clapboard - Mimi Sarner Take 3, sound 3, scene 1. Born 12.12.1942. Still picture of US marines ashore with 12-12-42 superimposed. Soldiers with a tank. 12-12-42 still superimposed. Hitler with other Nazis including Rudolf Hess. 12-12-42 still superimposed. American soldiers walk past a burning building. Still photo. A picture of a massive crowd watching Mussolini's dead body. Swastika flags. Weeping woman giving Nazi salute. Crying man. Pictures of dead people. Russian tank. German soldiers. A priest Stalin. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Churchill. An officer. Hitler - photo already seen. Ruined buildings with injured baby. A girl appears - Mimi Sarner? Swastika flag. Mimi Sarner Japanese soldiers. Mimi Sarner? The Colosseum. Still pictures of her on a television. She talks about her childhood. A picture of an ornate pram superimposed on a picture of buildings. She remembers little, though, about the World War Two. Still picture of a mushroom cloud. Pictures of Mimi's father. She remembers him returning after the Second World War. Picture of Mimi as a child. Picture of lots of American soldiers from the Second World War. Picture of a man in shirt and tie holding his jacket over his shoulder and wearing a hat. Headlines: 'Two Sharp Battles Fought Near Border of North Vietnam'; ' President Terms Vietnam Dissent Minimal in Scope' (New York Sunday?). President Names Negro Economist (?) Reserve Board; Soviet's 2 Space Dogs shown on Moscow TV; Saturn Hurls Moon-ship 5, 500 in First Test. Still picture of battle of wine and hamper, with stomach of man in check shirt in the background. Picture (all there are stills) of man lounging in boat watching television. Animation of dots going from eye, changing into hearts becoming a pointed strip, pointing to a circular picture of mother and child. Circular picture of man wearing glasses. Animation ending in dollar signs and a picture of a man sitting on large monkey bags. Mimi was always close to her mother. Everyone had a Television set. Still picture of girl on TV. Pink circle and grey square in circle, in square, arrow going to left from right, and then one going from left to right. 'I read the headlines and that's it'. Animation of arms holding a newspaper. The newspaper gets a roof and high heeled shoes, and lines ending in pink triangles coming out of the roof. A man knocking on a drawn door. 'My mother would knock on my door and ask what are you doing in there?' Real Underground Film. Spain now Bans a Bomb Flight, 46 Lost in Crash of German Plane. Klan is warned by Negro leaders. Still picture of dolls. Woman in a massive ball gown. Pink door. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Picture of a pastry. Lines cross it out and obscure the image. 'I disagree completely'. A big question mark. The pink door opens to reveal a question mark. Lines ending in arrows. Meeting the right people at the right time. Picture of a crowd of people. Picture of a man reading from a small book. Behind him picture of a girl's face. Behind every successful businessman there is a woman: 'You know, dog eat dog!' Pictures of dogs. Picture of woman's mouth. An 'o' comes out of it. Mimi: 'What's good for the goose is good for the gander'. Picture of woman wearing a 1950's top. A woman wearing lacy lingerie and a lacy 'cloak'. A woman wearing 'check' dress. A woman's hand holding a telephone. Dots come out of the receiver. A picture of a woman putting make-up on. Her lips get bigger and smaller. 'I'm practising!' A calendar. 'Mum every Friday night…' Picture of a wrapped up fish. Being weighed? Pictures of Marilyn Monroe. George Washington on a dollar bill. The Eagle from a dollar bill. A $10 bill saying 'The Confederate States and the United States of America'. 'Ten' from a $10 bill. A $1 bill and 1935 American coin. The '50' from a $50 bill. A $1 bill. A coin on a $10 bill. A $1 bill. Coins on a $1 bill. A $5 bill. Lincoln on an American banknote. A $5 bill held vertically. The camera pans. A hand holding burning sticks. The still rotates. A revolver. A house. It burns down. A girl looking through a Venetian blind. A hand holding a dagger. A man lying down holding his head. An Arab with a rifle. An Arab with a rifle. An Arab with a rifle. A woman holding out her hand. A child with a halo. A doorway with the Sphinx with a pink door in it. The door opens. Fri 3. 'If you don't go to Mom every Friday night I haven't picked up a paper in a year'. A man with a machine which lifts up a newspaper. An engraving of a girl on a balcony. A heart drops past her. A woman holding a cup. 'Oh Mom I want to be an actress … Oh Mom I want to study': Close-up of an old man's face. Picture of a woman putting on make-up. Congress given an Asian Bank Plan. US protest plan to extend UN Aid to Havana School. Europe for Punycats. Foundation cited as tax villain. Old Etonian Uniform May Soon Be Alien? Nuncio caught up in shooting spree in Santo Domingo. Macey Show is a world of imports. Clergymen form committee to back pause in Vietnam. US urged to push highway safety. Physicist shoots 3 and ends life. While headlines flashing up, voice-over says: 'I know what's going on in the world and it hurts me!' Onions in a farmyard piled high in a court. A made-up mime. Tears fall on his face. 'It really hurts me'. A flower. Dots appear at the end of the petals. An ashtray. Two extinguished cigarettes and one lit which burns very quickly - time lapse filming. Picture of houses. 'And a house in the country'. A hand holding a long dagger. Animation of a head of a girl falling of a tree trunk. A man in the picture has an axe, and appears to have just decapitated her. 'I know people are getting stabbed, knifed, shot, everything all over the place. I just don't care to read about it!' Still of two women, one holding the other's hair. A man pointing a gun at the camera, shooting pink bullets. A picture of dozens of dead people. US Civil War photo US Police National Guard with barking dog. 'If I constantly read about it then I constantly think about it'. A picture of a snarling dog. A man in a black costume - looks like Ku Klux Klan - in front of a burning cross. 'You can be a non-conformist but there are certain ways you must conform to society'. American police Running. A mock holding and about to swing A baseball bat American Police attacking blacks, showing racism. A policeman holding a truncheon watching a group of men. A crying black child. A young black man holding a placard saying 'Justice'. Martin Luther King A voice-over: 'Thank God Almighty We are Free at Last'. A black man wearing glasses looks above the camera. A group of young black men. A demonstration. Placards: UAW says Jobs and Freedom for Every American; UAW says American has a Century-old debt to pay. Others present but difficult to read. It looks like it may well be a civil rights demonstration. Mimi went to George Washington High School in the Bronx and it was like a little United Nations. Picture of lots of flags. A confederate flag. Women leap, wearing high heels. Women, they appear to be wearing party dresses. Men's legs, wearing black trousers and shoes. Men and women dancing - one woman wearing a red dress. Photos of people at a dance. Norman Rockwell painting Rotating picture of flags. Map of Eastern Europe - East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Copenhagen is shown. Czechoslovakia, Austria. Going East, Kharkov and Moscow are shown, as is Gorki. A globe is superimposed on the map. The globe shows Europe, most of Asia, the Middle east, most of Africa and a little bit of the Americas. 'The school was one third Negro, the other third was mixed'. The globe slowly rotates. A baby on a chaise longue. A woman combing a little girl's hair. A room - it looks like a room in a stately home. A man and a woman. He has a coat over his shoulder, he is holding her hands and has one hand round her shoulders. He is wearing a dark shirt, she is wearing a smart blouse and skirt. A blonde woman wearing a cowboy hat and red blouse pours milk. A man offers a girl on a horse a light for her cigarette. A girl in a wedding dress in the back of a car. A man kissing a woman's forehead. A man dressed in evening dress and a woman in an ornate ball gown in a room with an ornate chandelier and ostentatious furnishing. A woman holding a teddy bear. Black and white curves converging on a point, a red shape follows one of the curves to the centre. A drawing of a school, P510, with a bell tower and a line coming out of one window and an arrow pointing back at the school. 'I'd like to experience everything in life'. There was one teacher that left a lasting impression on me because he used to keep me after class every day. [laughs]. Man holding a massive pencil, an envelope, and white scarf over his arm. Classroom. A large pencil on the left hand side of the picture. A still of a girl looking over her shoulder. Animation of teacher with black face. His mouth changes shape to imply speech. On the blackboard behind him are mathematical chemical equations. A question mark appears by the girl's head. A picture of houses from the air with nine semicircles on it. An unidentifiable object is superimposed on it. 'I searched and searched to find my home!' A still of a girl facing away from the camera has a still of a blonde girl facing the camera superimposed on it. The superimposed image moves from right top left across the screen. 'I had so much. I turned around to look at the boy behind me'. Flesh A blade of grass with an insect on it 'And he kept me after class constantly. And you know what we would do after class?' [sic]. A volume of the Encyclopaedia Americana open wide hearts coming out of it. Masks moving about on the screen. The Encyclopaedia Americana, this time with photographs of men coming out of it. 'So we'd chit chat about my plans for the weekend, about the fellows I'd been dating and … I think he liked me'. 1920's or 1930's picture of a woman tied up in what looks like a shack looking at what could be dynamite. The Encyclopaedia Americana. This time William Shakespeare comes out of it with one eye shut. A man and a woman in a still showing then in a rowing boat. The man rowing. A girls' lower face with a flower by her lips. Black stuff spreading across the screen. 'everybody had a degree though, right? [sic]'. An engraving of a primitive attempt to build a flying machine appearing to fly through the sky. Churches. A picture of a woman, compass points. A map showing part of Mexico and central America and the Philippines. Houses in the background. A spinning globe. 'There are so many things to do, so many things to see, and I'd like to do some of them and see some of them'. A circle goes down the screen. Mimi: 'I like to go to the theatre'. A picture of a man in evening dress with a woman with a fur stole over her coat. 'And I like to read'. Picture of medieval book with Gothic writing. There is a magnifying glass, magnifying an illuminated 'E'. A birdcage and book on a table. Picture of a bird. 'And I like to write poetry'. Picture of an ear. 'And I like to listen to poetry'. Picture of a violin or viola. Hands superimposed on a musical score. A still of a man playing a violin or viola. An oboe or clarinet. A child's open mouth. An adult's open mouth. An open mouth. A woman's open mouth. The camera zooms in and out. 'I like to go to concerts. And I like the opera'. A picture of Salvador Dali with mouth open. 'I like the ballet'. Pictures of feet in shoes. A picture of a ballerina. 'Just as much as I love a good ball game'. Footage of a baseball match. The pitcher starts arguing with the catcher after someone gets back to the plate to earn a run. The audience - a woman is highly excited. Roller-skating. One of the skaters hits the side and falls over. In a boxing ring. About ten men in the ring. Chains litter the ring, and more are thrown in as we watch. Dwarves wrestling. A flight at the roller-skating. The boxing ring. A man is hit by a chair. Dwarves wrestling. Boxing. The winner is announced. Mimi: 'Success to me is when you have something to give to somebody, to be able to give to somebody no matter what it is. To give from yourself to someone else. To get on the stage and say something funny and make somebody laugh'. A man playing the piano. There are a lot of microphones by the piano. Mimi sings: 'Life is just a bowl of cherries'. Coloured dots go to the bottom of a sort of piggy band, or collecting tin. Sings: 'But to take? something very very sad and to make someone in the audience feel …' Lyndon Baines Johnson making a speech. Music in background. He says he got a letter from a woman who spoke of pain and loss - presumably she had at least one son in the army killed. Still of Al Jolson? A man giving a speech in Congress Mimi Sarner. Sings: 'Don't make it serious, life's too mysterious'. Lyndon B. Johnson giving speech, talking about the letter he got. Mimi Sarner. 'You laugh and you worry so'. Man giving speech about duty in Congress? Lyndon B. Johnson. 'So we ask God to bless you and your family'. Men giving speech in Congress? Mimi Sarner. 'I'd like to learn at least how to carry a tune'. A woman in dress and hat on a podium singing God Save America. Men at a big dinner. A highly decorated army officer is in the foreground. The tables are numbered. Mimi Sarner. Singing. Robert McNamara giving a speech. 'And following this principle I think …'. Mimi Sarner. 'The Communists, they just walk right in …'. McNamara. Mimi Sarner. 'The Communists get involved and there you go, boom'. McNamara. 'Now following that …'. Something flies past him, he looks down. Close-up of Mimi Sarner's face. McNamara. 'I think we can hold them …'. Sound of gunshots - he is startled. Stills - a man with an axe. A revolver pointing at the camera. Animation - it fires a pink bullet at the camera. A policeman's gun The camera pans down the man's body - it is a policeman holding a truncheon. Voice-over - Mimi's vice. 'To me the worst thing anybody in this world can do is to take it upon themselves to take their life or anybody else's'. While she's saying this we see the muzzle of a gun pointed at the camera, a drawing?, photograph? of a Chinese man holding a sword, a man holding a submachine gun - animation - it fires pink bullets, a machine gun firing pink bullets. Still of an Arab holding a rifle, charging the camera. The camera closes in on him. A dagger stabs down. Still of a hammer falling. An American soldier receiving rifle instruction. A man wearing a fez aiming a rifle. Mimi's voice-over: 'The idea of a man who learn to do that … it's the man upstairs'. 2 pictures of men holding revolvers. A second World war pilot in an American military aircraft. Lyndon B. Johnson wearing an academic robe giving a speech. 'And we will begin'. American fighter aircraft. American ground-crew watch a military aircraft take off. Mimi voice-over: 'I lived under Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson .. Of course our presidents I greatly admire. He is our president and I give him due respect … because he is our president'. While she says this we can see: An American military aircraft; military aircraft on a bombing run; a scared Vietnamese man looking up; a scared Vietnamese woman in front of a child; a scared Vietnamese man with headscarf looking skywards. The aircrafts have dropped their bombs and they explode. Pink tinted stills. A Vietnamese woman and baby lying in straw. A Vietnamese woman with blood on her cheek. A wounded baby. A crying Vietnamese woman. A Vietnamese man with an M-16 assault rifle with bayonet fixed pointed at him. A man with 3 soldiers around him - he is kneeling and they are holding his arms, tied together, high above his back. American military aircraft drops bombs. Mimi voice-over: 'Given the opportunity, I feel everyone could murder'. A man playing a grand piano. Beside the piano is a row of microphones. Scared and resentful Vietnamese women and children. Lyndon B. Johnson in academic robes making a speech. 'This effort is what we will pursue in the great society'. Halfway through his image turns from positive to negative. Bombs dropping on jungle. Mimi voice-over. 'I'm not talking about self-defence, I'm talking about deliberate cold-blooded unadulterated murder'. As she says this we see an American military aircraft flying over Vietnam. Robert McNamara; American military aircraft bombing Vietnam; men in suits at a big dinner - in the foreground is a highly decorated American army officer. A speech being given in Congress It is applauded. Voice-over (Lyndon Johnson?): 'My countrymen, in those words are to be found the greatness of this nation, and also the strength of its president'. While we hear this we see a helicopter flying across Vietnam. He is nursing a M-60 machine gun. A M-113 armoured personnel carrier. A soldier is holding a heavy machine gun - M-2HB Tied to the back of the M-113 is a dead Vietnamese man lying face down. His legs are bare. The helicopter flying across devastated countryside. American military aircraft. A group of scared Vietnamese women and children. Mimi's voice-over. She reads a poem about a beautiful flower. Meanwhile we see pictures of terrified Vietnamese women and children. We've seen some of them earlier. American soldiers landing from landing craft. An American soldier charging. American soldiers getting out of an aircraft. Stills of was scenes in Vietnam. Philosophical musings from Mimi. Piano music in the background.

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