sydney’s review published on Letterboxd:
the kind of mess only a brilliant overly emotional person with a thousand ideas could make, and i love that about it. of course this is about the way the state weaponizes anger and trauma, the cruel irony of two oppressed groups forced to fight each other for something they don't benefit from, but the thing i thought the most about was how hard it is to move forward when there are so many landmines from the past blocking your way, it's impossible, they make it impossible, state violence is an infinite ripple effect. whatever this movie's faults (and i am certainly not the right person to analyze them), this is an essential perspective on this clusterfuck of a war, that doesn't treat it as some one-off mistake by the american government that psychologically fucked over a bunch of white teenagers, but a calculated piece of a machine that has exploited black people since the first moment, a disaster that ruined a second generation of american and vietnamese lives, yet another war that never truly ended. spike lee is saying a whole lot, and i know this will be analyzed to death by smarter people, but all i know as far as good or bad was this really got to me emotionally. it wasn't until i saw it that i fully absorbed the fact that my lifelong issues caused by the shitty relationship with my father was in part the result of his inability to cope with the horrors of fighting in vietnam, which he joined to escape the nonstop abuse he suffered at the hands of his own father, who was the chief of police. who might we all be if these atrocities hadn't been allowed to be committed?