Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

Director: George Butler

Cast: George Butler

     
 

Douglas Brinkley's best-selling novel Tour of Duty follows 2004 presidential hopeful John Kerry's years in Vietnam and goes on to illustrate his contribution to peace advocacy groups after being honorably discharged from the Navy. Both of these events, according to George Butler, Tour of Duty director and long-time friend of Senator Kerry, had a profound…  See more details below

Overview

Douglas Brinkley's best-selling novel Tour of Duty follows 2004 presidential hopeful John Kerry's years in Vietnam and goes on to illustrate his contribution to peace advocacy groups after being honorably discharged from the Navy. Both of these events, according to George Butler, Tour of Duty director and long-time friend of Senator Kerry, had a profound impact on the politician's personal ideologies, and provided the foundation for Kerry's career. Kerry, who hired Butler as his press secretary during his 1969 congressional campaign, agreed to be interviewed for the film. Tour of Duty, in addition to a series of interviews, features an array of archival footage of Kerry dating from the 1960s to his presidential run.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
After the 2004 presidential election, political documentaries will hardly be treated the same again. While Going Upriver is a stirring account of a time in history that shaped a young man and his nation's future, there will be those that strike it down and disregard it as yet another partisan piece of propaganda. It's no surprise that George Butler's film holds a positive pro-John Kerry bias given their friendship over the years, but what separates this film is the undeniable subject matter that elevates it from just a campaign love letter flick. The rally organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a seminal moment in history whose story needed to be told. The fact that you see Kerry steering the movement with such graceful pause is telling of the man's character without the filmmakers having to resort to stiff-armed rhetoric. Those who weren't around during the time of the Foreign Relations Committee hearing are also in for a sobering stab of déjà vu that is both impossible to ignore and hard to shake -- as is the appearance of John O'Neill as Nixon's attack dog, considering his repeated attacks at Kerry during the campaign over 30 years later. Ultimately, what you take away from the film will depend on what you bring into it. And while it may be easy to write off some of the movie's gushing testimonials, historical footage does not lie (though it can be presented improperly). For all the political hubbub during its release, Going Upriver will live on as a testament to these vets as they were peacefully led through the heart of their government and given a rare chance to speak out against its leaders and the war they knew firsthand was wrong. Going Upriver is powerful filmmaking as seen through the eyes of an inspiring young man that made it happen.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
A compelling, blow-by-blow account of John Kerry's service in Vietnam -- and, more than that, the full revealing chronicle of how he ultimately came together with hundreds of his comrades to form Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/2004
UPC:
0720917900025
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
NON-FICTION FILMS
Time:
1:28:00

Special Features

16:9 letterbox 1.85:1 presentation; 5.1 sound; Theatrical trailer; Director profile; Weblinks

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Kerry Actor

Technical Credits
George Butler Director,Producer
Marina Parker Associate Producer
Jules LaBarthe Cinematographer
Sandi Sissel Cinematographer
Daniel Holton-Roth Co-producer
Sarah Scully Co-producer
Caroline Alexander Consultant/advisor
Deborah Dickson Consultant/advisor
Melody London Editor
Tim Squyres Editor
Jean Tsien Editor
Kenneth Wachtel Editor
Marc Abrams Executive Producer
Lawrence Bender Executive Producer
Michael Klein Executive Producer
Vincent Roberti Executive Producer
William Samuels Executive Producer
Sam William Executive Producer
Mark Hopkins Producer
Philip Glass Score Composer
Joseph Dorman Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Innocence and Idealism [8:43]
2. Beauty and Terror [5:40]
3. The Free Fire Zones [7:24]
4. Going Upriver [6:15]
5. The War at Home [3:59]
6. The Winter Soldiers [9:43]
7. A Symbol of Distress [6:29]
8. Give Me Some Truth [8:47]
9. The Senate Testimony [8:10]
10. Returning the Medals [7:07]
11. The White House is Watching [6:20]
12. An Extra Credit Day [9:09]

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