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550 Ratings

Hearts and Minds

Directed by Peter Davis
United States, 1974
Documentary, War


A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis’s landmark documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronts the United States’ involvement in Vietnam, using a wealth of sources—from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad.

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Hearts and Minds Directed by Peter Davis

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1975 | Winner: Best Documentary, Features

Golden Globes (USA)

1975 | Nominee: Best Documentary Film

National Film Preservation Board

2018 | Winner: National Film Registry

If “Southern Comfort” sought to place the viewer on the ground in a Vietnamese jungle, Peter Davis’s 1974 documentary, “Hearts and Minds,” recently reissued by Criterion in a new dual-format edition with two hours of unused material, provides an evocative, often gut-wrenching sense of what it was like to be living in the United States during the Vietnam War.
July 03, 2014
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Decades later, these lapses seem much less important thanHearts And Minds’ general inquiry into America’s state of mind about the Vietnam War while it was still (technically) in progress. Davis takes an approach that could be called either impressionistic or scattershot, according to taste; rather than carefully build an argument, the film skips from one scarcely related topic to the next, based more on mood than on logic.
July 02, 2014
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The politics of Hearts and Minds are familiarly left of center, and many of the clips Davis put together feature images that have since become synonymous with the war’s innumerable atrocities. Time, however, hasn’t dulled their immediacy. There’s simply no shaking the infamous clip of a U.S. soldier putting a bullet into Nguyễn Ngọc Loan’s head in the middle of a sunlit street, blood flowing from the young Vietnamese man’s head as if from a water fountain…
June 23, 2014
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