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FTA

3.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description



Available for the first time on DVD, FTA is a riveting slice of the Vietnam anti-war movement, following Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherlands Free The Army Tour of U.S. Army bases in 1971.

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The FTA is a now-fascinating 1972 documentary capturing actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland in a then-infamous traveling troupe of political theatre protesting both the Vietnam war and the presence of American military bases in Okinawa, the Philippines, Japan, and elsewhere along the Pacific Rim. A kind of anti-USO show, "FTA" (i.e., "F**K the Army") featured Fonda, Sutherland, folk musician Len Chandler, singer-songwriters Holly Near and Rita Martinson, and comedian Paul Mooney in a sketch-and-tune performance for dissident soldiers and sailors. The show itself doesn't leap out as particularly dynamic all these decades later, but it's the context that matters. Early on, Sutherland describes an assault by U.S. forces on a Vietnamese village as if he were calling a baseball game--a macabre but effective satire that rouses the audience. Fonda participates in a sketch about the way families of officers are treated far better by the American government than the families of ordinary grunts. Much of the film is dedicated to the comments and testimony of servicemen who had seen and done what most of us will never know about Vietnam. Black soldiers define and describe the role of racism in the war, and much is said about racist policies toward the native peoples of the countries where American bases were allegedly so unwelcome. Throughout, Fonda takes any opportunity to declare, in the most general terms, that U.S. troops don’t want to be in whatever country "FTA" is visiting, but again that kind of hyperbole was a then-part of everyone's life and times. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Update: Interview with Jane Fonda

Product Details

  • Actors: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland
  • Directors: Francine Parker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: American Sign Language (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HBVE7Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "FTA" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm thrilled this is out FINALLY, it's an interesting movie, certainly the original demonstration wouldn't have gone so smoothly had Sutherland and Fonda not been involved, but as far as entertainment value, it's forced and mixed to say the least. Maybe if Abbie Hoffman, Lenny Bruce or the Smothers Brothers Variety writers had been involved at this point, it would have been a wittier, more clever show. As it stands, it has the subtlety of an axe through a forehead. Since a similar high profile show with "stars" wasn't done to protest our last ten years of administration, I think FTA shows how much more guts people had then to fight for something they believed in, without fear of unpopularity or jail time.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film celebrates some forgotten history of the US Anti-War Movement.

During the US war against Vietnam, GI war resistors organized an active anti-war resistance movement within their own military organizations. Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland (who played Hawkeye in the original M*A*S*H movie) were among those performers who toured the Pacific Rim to entertain and encourage GI war resistors.

The film contains some hard-hitting and vibrant performances, showcasing local grass-roots musicians and reminding us how music unites, supports and energizes popular resistance movements.
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This fills in the gaps in understanding how widespread the anti-war movement was in the 1960s-70s. It ran deep in the armed forces forcing the American government to withdraw. FTA is the anti-USO show.
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Format: DVD
This is exactly the corrective to the view out there that the anti-war movement and the army were somehow different during the Vietnam era. The army, like US society, was split. To see the number of soldiers who attended these shows, and their laughter at the skits that mock the idiocy of their commanding officers, is to see that the movement against the war was inside and outside the army. Is the content of the skits hilarious or inventive? Not particularly. But I would rather see this concrete evidence of solidarity with the soldiers from the anti-war movement than Bob Hope's silly jingoistic USO shows any day. The "F" in the title, by the way, stands not for "Free" the Army, but for a rather more forceful verb.

The film also shows, incidentally, the not insignificant sexism in the subsequent vilification of Fonda from the right. Why was there never the same level of vilification (which I would also have disagreed with) of Sutherland? Sexism.

If you are interested in completing your view of the war and of the movement against it, this is a good place to go. Also useful: The American War (book) For more on the Tet Offensive and its impact, see Tet: The Turning Point in the Vietnam War, by Don Oberdorfer, plus the collection of essays in Vietnam and America: The Most Comprehensive Documented History of the Vietnam War, edited by Marvin Gettleman, Jane Franklin, Marilyn Young and H. Bruce Franklin.

Gerald Nicosia's Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement is a history based on hundreds of interviews with men who fought in Vietnam and then came home to be active in the antiwar movement. The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam by Tom Wells is a comprehensive history of the antiwar movement, from its earliest days to the end of the war in 1975.

For an excellent history that focuses specifically on the GI rebellion during the war, read David Cortright's Soldiers in Revolt, republished by Haymarket Books.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great snapshot of the mood and issues of anti-war servicemen and women during the Vietnam war. The satire of the vaudeville style performances is first rate. Michael Alaimo shines as a comedic genius. And Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland show the social change commitment in early years.
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This is an extremely important historical film. It features many interviews with soldiers stationed at different bases during the Vietnam war. It shows how Jane Fonda and Paul Mooney along with many others tried to fight the hypocrisy associated with the Vietnam war. They did. This with humorous skits poking fun at different wartime situation. This film is an absolute must watch.
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But the movie itself, subject matter, sucks big time. As a Vietnam Veteran, I have been aware of this drivel, but never had the chance to actually see it before. It should be seen by all to see just how wrong and misguided Hanoi Jane, Donald Sutherland and the rest were back then. Their vitriol towards all but those ready to desert is known and documented in this movie.
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