Re: [sixties-l] Re POW-MIA post

From: Virginia Laffey (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 12:00:07 CUT

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    Hi Randy,

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my post. I have not read Franklin but have read
    Keating's Prisoners of Hope. I found her argument compelling and agree with her
    claim that POW/MIA families have been strung along and mislead for political
    purposes for many years. My defense of Daniel's film is because he is not making a
    political stand, or using this film about the POW/MIA movement for some hidden
    right wing agenda, but rather exploring the development of the myth through film.
    Phil Daniels has read Franklin , has recommended it to me and his work is informed
    by it. The other point I want to make is that this first episode traces the origins
    of the movement and its growth through the end of the war. Later episodes will
    examine the ways the movement has been used politically and the myths that surround
    the POW/MIA issue. So no, this episode does not address Franklin's charges, but
    from my correspondence with Mr. Daniels I believe that he fully intense to address
    them in the later episodes. What I like so much about the film I saw is that it is
    similar to the work I am doing, which is an oral history of the woman who waited
    during the Vietnam War. This first episode "Among the Missing" is wonderful in that
    it shows the ways that a certain group of women tried to deal with a situation that
    was truly nightmarish. Because of the focus of my work I am partial hearing the
    story of these often invisible and overlooked women. So that is where I'm coming
    from. I hope I have been more clear this time.


    Randy Fertel wrote:

    > on 7/6/00 7:38 AM, Virginia Laffey at wrote:
    > > Mr. Lauter argues that these women were organized by the Nixon
    > > White House and truly they were not. Co-opted, yes, organized no. The
    > > implication I read in Mr. Lauter's post was that Phillip Daniels' film is yet
    > > another instance where the well meaning but naive families of POW/MIA are
    > > being exploited, being "used for very cynical political purposes." Rest
    > > assured, this is not so. Better yet, don't take my word for it, watch the film
    > > and then make a judgment. Just because the topic is a sensitive one does not
    > > mean that a filmmaker/historian/scholar cannot handle it with fairness and
    > > accuracy. Mr. Daniels does this admirably with his first installment and I
    > > look forward to future episodes.
    > It would be helpful if you addressed Mr. Lauter's suggestion that one needs
    > to read Bruce Franklin on the POW/MIA issue. Have you read Franklin? Is
    > your appreciation of Daniel's documentary despite having read Franklin? Has
    > Daniel read Franklin and does he address his charges? Since I for one find
    > Franklin's argument extremely compelling, it's hard to imagine handling this
    > issue "with fairness and accuracy" without dealing with Franklin's charges.
    > I'm sure you are right that we should watch the film and judge for
    > ourselves. Still, in the meantime it would be nice to know where you and
    > Daniel are coming from. . .
    > Thanks,
    > Randy Fertel
    > Tulane University
    > 419 Walnut St.
    > New Orleans LA 70118
    > 504-862-0707 (voice)
    > 504-862-0040 (fax)
    > 504-450-9178 (cell)

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