Prisoners of Hope (Institutional Use)
This one-hour documentary is a moving account of the 1995 return of 1,250 former political prisoners to the notorious Robben Island prison in South Africa - led by President Nelson Mandela. This film documents the historically unprecedented moments of a reunion of former prisoners in a newly democratizing South Africa. Interviews with Nelson Mandela, Achmed Kathrada and many others, as the future of this gulag is debated. Directed by Danny Schechter, co-directed by Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple. For the official filmmakers website go to http://www.globalvision.org.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would guess that the POW's presented here were hesitant to talk about certain "touchy" subjects such as:
1) the torture techniques that were used on them (using artist's drawings); might have brought back unpleasant memories.
2) the collaborators among the POWs: who they were and what they exactly did. Although there might be libel/slander suits against whoever accused them. One of the POWs captured/held in S. Vietnam, (I think named Kushner??, a doctor during and after captivity) sued someone for making claims about his actions while captive that couldn't be proven. He won and donated the judgement monies to charity (showing it was the principle of the thing).
3) whether the POWs thought there were any large numbers of of other POWs left behind. Super "touchy" subject; probably because it would blow to pieces that claim of theirs that they "returned with honor". Consider:
a) by their own admission, during captivity the senior ranking officers demanded all POWs toe the line with the Code of Conduct; basically keep faith with other POWs and with the U.S.A at large (this being the honorable thing to do, put the nation's and other POWs' needs ahead of oneself, one-for-all & all-for-one). So far, so good but ......
b) once repatriated these same POWs never raised a voice about men they knew to be left behind. They were ordered to keep quite. And they gladly complied; all for the purpose of keeping their careers going ahead. A few of them, to their credit, didn't. Does that sound like honorable conduct? Looks like treacherous and duplicitous to me, which are the opposites of honorable (or at least totally incompatible). Essentially, once they were back home safe, free and out of danger they then did the opposite of what they had preached while captive. I guess when they talk about "returning with honor" they mean strictly to the moment of return; and not a day later.
I think many viewers would have found these three interesting to hear about, but I can also imagine the POWs here would be hesitant to talk about them .
But it's still a very good program to watch
God bless our American troops of all the wars! This is a powerful first-hand account by the men, some now infamous in our Country, of taking us thru their YEARS of being captured & held prisoner of war during the Viet Nam War. What a cost of freedom they paid for all of us! But the message of how their FAITH brought them thru the horrendous torture & filthy conditions to finally come back to American soil. Then they each gave back again in their days to follow in their homeland. God bless our American troops of all the wars!
"Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die that the protected will never know."