Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Regret to Inform (1998)

Directed by Barbara Sonneborn. Post a response to either this documentary or Following Sean. Here's an article I wrote that mentions the documentary.


  1. From Geri B:

    The documentary produced by Barbara Sonneborn, "Regret to Inform", has actually been my favorite film so far. Granted, the film did have a very depressing demeanor, but I enjoyed the fact that it related to women. All of the other films have mainly focused on men and their part in the war, so it was nice to get a different perspective. One of the things that I enjoyed most about the film is Barbara didn't only interview American women. Barbara took the extra step to interview the Vietnamese women, as well. I found it very interesting that both ethnicities had very similar thoughts toward the war. Both sides were terrified of having their husband leave because they were scared that he might get hurt. I could really relate to them because my ex-boyfriend joined the army and got stationed in Afghanistan. I was very frightened that something might have happened to him and the distance ultimately tore our relationship apart.
    I would have to say one of my favorite parts of the film was when the elderly Vietnamese woman spoke of her sympathy for the American women. I thought the fact that she even touched base on that was very sweet, even though she did follow saying that the Vietnamese women had it worse.
    The part of the film that I found most thought provoking would be a specific part toward the end of the film. One of the widowed wives began to question, "Is my husband a hero or a murderer?" I think that this is a very interesting point because at one end he was being a patriotic citizen to his country, but on the other hand he was taking the lives of innocent individuals. I have definitely put a lot of thought into her question and still remain undecided as to what I believe the men of the war to be.
    Ultimately, I would most definitely recommend this film to other women.

  2. From Andrew H:

    Regret to inform was a very interesting movie because it took a look at the Vietnam war from the prospective of women who were involved. From the American side we got to hear from women whose husbands had died in the war, and a couple after the war from directly related reasons. From the Vietnamese side we heard from women that the war had actually touched their lives because they had to live through it every day. What I liked a lot about this documentary is that it looked not only at the war from the prospective of those who were on our side, but women who were involved with the Vietcong as well. One would gather from this documentary that the author was wondering what the whole thing was even for. Her husband and many others died in this thing and it seemed to have no real purpose. I think we also got a glimpse of what happens in these war torn countries when someone os forced out of their home and has to do whatever necessary to survive. We see this in the documentarians Vietnamese friend who accompanies her on her jorney. Her friend is forced out of her home and to pretty much let some suffer so she can eat, and at a certain point must become a prostitute in order to support herself. I think the telling of this story is interesting, whenever I have seen movies that are either set during the Vietnam war, about it or documenting it, rarely do I see the prostitutes’ stories told. They seem to be more looked at as people who are using the influx of soldiers as a way for them to make money, when really a lot of them are forced into that life just to be able to eat and make it to the next day. This movie over all was very moving because it shows not only the effect that war has on the place it is fought and the people who fight it, but on the society and people around it as well.

  3. From Shana W:

    Regret To Inform, a documentary directed by Barbara Sonneborn was a spectacular documentary. Finally a view of the War in Vietnam from the eyes, and heart, of women. The documentary was very refreshing. Because the 1960's didnt focus a lot on women, we havent really gotten the opprotunity to see very many opinions of women. However, this documentary was about the widow. American or not, the widow of the Vietnam War was showcased and that is one of the things that made the documentary shine. The emotion that was shown made you see that even though these men were fighting against one another, the ones that loved them were feeling an equal amount of pain. At one point in the film a Vietnamese woman states that she knew that the women in America were feeling the same pain that she and her peers were feeling. Upon watching this film, I also noticed that there was not a lot of resentment among the American women and Vietnamese women. They made an effort to put the past behind them and understand one another. I think that the director dont a wonderful job in choosing the people that she interviewed. Every person had a different story, each more touching than the last. There was so much emotion and she done a wonderful job of capturing that. It was also good that she used her own testimony as the backbone of the film. It made it personal and her journey to find peace in regards to her husbands death kept you attention and pulled at the strings of your heart. The documentary is, without a doubt, my favorite that was shown in this class.