john kerry will be the next president of the usa.

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    After viewing the documentary aired this morning on the Sunday program this morning you could not help but be left with a lasting impression that this man's destiny is to be the next president of the USA.

    His address to the US senate as a 27 year old revealed such eloquence and maturity well beyond his years. This documentary will surely leave a favourable impression on undecided voters.

    Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry
    October 24, 2004

    Producer/Director: George Butler

    The New York Times said this week in an editorial endorsing John Kerry as president: "We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better."

    Americans have no way of knowing for certain that The Times is correct in its assessment unless they elect John Kerry as president, but this documentary on his days as a soldier and anti-Vietnam War activist gives insight into his leadership qualities at a relatively early age ... and may help some voters make up their minds before they enter the polling booths on November 2.

    John F. Kerry is both a decorated war hero and a former peace activist whose life and career have been influenced by the Vietnam War — a war he fought on two fronts. It is a war that many Americans of his generation fought. Some became draft dodgers and conscientious objectors, some fled the country — nearly all opposed to a war they didn't believe in.
    But for Kerry it was a different story. As a child of privilege, a graduate of Yale University, he felt the need to go to Vietnam and fight on the "swift boats" patrolling the Mekong Delta. And when he returned home he felt compelled to protest against the senselessness of the war and commit himself to end it.

    Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry takes you into the heart of John Kerry's conflict. Through in-depth interviews and rarely seen archival photographs and footage, Going Upriver recreates a profile of a generation, a war and the leadership of a potential President shaped by these events.

    His friend of 40 years, George Butler, best known for his documentary Pumping Iron on Arnold Schwarzenegger, has said that his film is not campaign propaganda, but that he always saw John Kerry as a possible future president: "I had the absolute conviction that he would either be president, or run for president, the moment I met him. I am good at spotting people."

    Butler had followed Kerry's career since he returned from Vietnam and his work with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). They co-authored a book about Vietnam veterans, The New Soldier, in 1971. His access to archival footage from Kerry's Vietnam tour and the seminal protest by Vietnam veterans in Washington in 1971 makes this a history lesson as well as a compelling documentary.

    And the vision of this 27-year-old veteran leading the protest and then addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and impressing the politicians with his eloquence will certainly do Kerry no harm in the remaining days of the race for the White House. The questions he asked then are still being asked now, this time about Iraq: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

    Going Upriver contributes to the continuing debate over the war in Vietnam in the US and shows how Kerry angered his critics by not only opposing the war, but pointing out the atrocities that were being committed. There is a poignant scene near the end where veterans throw their medals and ribbons on to the Capitol steps in a protest that will still upset many Americans.

    Another documentary, Stolen Honour: Wounds That Never Heal, has alleged that many of the veterans who took part in an anti-war protest with Kerry in 1971 had never set foot on a battlefield. The Sinclair Broadcast Group had intended to air the documentary on all of its 62 stations around the US before the election. One Vietnam veteran sued the company for libel, saying the film falsely portrays him as a fraud. But the company backed down from airing the documentary in its entirety.

    By contrast, Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry received mostly critical acclaim when it was released in 300 cinemas in the US and Canada earlier this month. The San Francisco Chronicle said it was "...a riveting film that (leaving politics aside) is a time capsule of the Vietnam War and the protests that gripped the nation — a tense period that has obvious parallels to the situation in Iraq ... Going Upriver is (thankfully) as much the study of a nation in transition as it is about a future presidential candidate."

    And the Associated Press says, "Butler's unlimited access yields a mind-blowing amount of archival photographs and film footage, but what's truly effective is the way he lets the images speak for themselves, rather than manipulating them in a maudlin fashion."

    Butler himself denies his film is a hagiography: "Everyone said I couldn't make a good film about a friend. But there's no narration in the film. It's one of the things I'm most proud of. That way you can show what John Kerry is like and not have to tell it."

    If you want further information on the documentary and the filmmakers, click on the Going Upriver website:

    Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry will be officially released in Australia on Thursday, October 28 at Cinema Nova in Melbourne, with some sneak previews this weekend.

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