Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

Watch Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

"Addressed to the heart of America."
  • PG-13
  • 1987
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 7.9  (1,950)

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam is a powerful and haunting documentary-style film, released in 1987, that examines the experiences of American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War, as told through their own letters home to family and friends. Narrated by a range of actors such as Tom Berenger, Ellen Burstyn and J. Kenneth Campbell, the film is structured as a series of vignettes, each revolving around a different soldier or group of soldiers, and each exploring a different aspect of the war and its effect on those who fought there.

The film is deeply moving and emotionally charged, providing a window into the lives of these brave soldiers as they lived through one of the most traumatic periods in American history. Some of the stories are heartwarming, such as the love affair between a helicopter pilot and a nurse stationed in Vietnam. Others are tragic, such as the story of a young soldier who dies in battle just a few days before his tour is up.

Throughout the film, we see both the bravery and the fear of these soldiers, as they face death and destruction on a daily basis. We see the impact that the war has on them, both physically and emotionally, as they struggle to come to terms with the reality of what they are experiencing. Some turn to drugs or alcohol, while others find solace in religion or camaraderie.

One of the most powerful aspects of the film is the way in which it juxtaposes the soldiers' letters with images of the war itself. We see the lush, tropical landscapes of Vietnam, then suddenly cut to shots of bombed-out buildings and dead bodies. We hear the soldiers' voices as they express their fears and their hopes, then suddenly cut to the sounds of gunfire and explosions.

All of this is presented in a documentary style, with archival footage of the war interspersed with interviews with veteran soldiers, family members of those who served, and others connected to the war. The effect is both sobering and deeply compelling, as we are brought face-to-face with the realities of this brutal conflict.

Perhaps most strikingly, the film ends with a poignant reminder of the human cost of the war. We hear a letter from a soldier who is killed just days after returning to Vietnam for a second tour of duty. As we hear his words, spoken in voiceover, we are left with a powerful sense of the tragedy of it all. For all of the bravery and sacrifice of these soldiers, in the end, they were just young men and women caught up in a conflict that most of them never completely understood.

Overall, Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam is a powerful and deeply affecting film that will stay with you long after it is over. It is a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served in Vietnam, and a tribute to the human spirit in the most trying of circumstances.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (1,950)