- Amazon Sales Rank: #250713 in DVD
- Released on: 2009-05-12
- Format: NTSC
- Running time: 23 minutes
Smothering Dreams is one of the most compelling, eloquently visual denunciations of war in any medium. Based on Reeves' own experiences, it is an autobiographical reflection on the Vietnam War, "a cathartic recollection, burning anti-war statement and searing analysis of the media's role in inculcating violence and aggression from childhood onward" (Deirdre Boyle). With dramatic re-enactments of the ambush of his platoon during the Tet Offensive of 1968 and of childhood memories, Smothering Dreams is a collage of fantasies of battle and adult nightmares of the atrocities of war. John J. O'Connor of the New York Times wrote:" Where Apocalypse Now was bloated and pretentious, Smothering Dreams is lean and harrowingly to the point." Haunted by the memory of a horrific ambush, Reeves was driven to find the sources of violence in the institutions of American culture. Reeves called this thoroughly convicted work "an autobiographical film concerning the myths and realities of organized violence as experienced through the imagination of a child and the eyes of a soldier. Shortly after the tape was completed, he wrote, "What I learned about myself, morality, mortality and responsibility during my year in combat has been the focus of most of my life's work." Drawing on the commentary of Wilfred Owen's antiwar poem, and revisiting America's "television war" through the technology of its disengagement, the work is as relevant to its time as Owen's poem was to World War I.
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