Heaven & Earth (1993)


heaven“If war produces one thing, it’s many cemeteries. And in cemeteries, there are no enemies. ” – Mama

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Theater in ’93 and 4 Aug 2016)

Brief Synopsis – The war in Vietnam is told from the perspective of a local Vietnamese farmer’s daughter. Based on a true story.

My Take on it – We all know that Oliver Stone spent years trying to exorcise his own demons from his year in Vietnam.

As a film maker, he was able to give us three very different views of the war and each of them are near perfect in so many different ways.

I really think that after Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), this was really the perfect way for him to end his journey thru the Vietnam War.

The tone of this film is great and since we get everything from a non-US perspective, he can show us things that we normally wouldn’t be exposed to also giving us a more complete vision of his own perspectives on the Vietnam experience.

Clint Eastwood did a similar thing with his World War II companion films of Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006).

I really liked the fact that since most movies about the Vietnam War only tell the American side of things this movies gives us it all from the side of the “enemy” which adds so much to the depth of our understanding of the war for good and for bad.

The choice to have most of the characters speak English takes away from the feel a bit, but on a personal note, I was grateful since I’m not a fan of having to read subtitles 🙂

The run time of 140 minutes works extremely well here because we get enough of a perspective of life in Vietnam in snippets but doesn’t get into boring or preachy territory.

The fact that this film is based on a true story gives it an even greater impact factor.

The cinematography here is superb and we get to see the lush countryside in ways that show us so much about the seemingly peaceful life while giving the film a feeling of grandeur that even in some ways surpasses the other two films in the series which are also superbly filmed.

Bottom Line – Stone really finds the perfect tone to end his venture into the Vietnam War. The perspective from the Vietnamese side of things works extremely well and gives so much depth to Stone’s vision of the war.  Perfect run time because it gives us so much of her life in snippets without getting too boring or preachy. Amazing cinematography of the Vietnamese landscape gives this film even more grandeur than the other two films in the series. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The Vietnamese government wouldn’t allow Oliver Stone to film on location due to the script’s unflattering depiction of the Viet Cong.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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4 thoughts on “Heaven & Earth (1993)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1993 |

  2. Pingback: The Toptober Tens #20 – Vietnam War Films |

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