Why You Really Should See ‘Going Upriver’

I (legally! woot!) bittorrented the new Kerry documentary, Going Upriver, today, and just finished watching it. It’s great stuff. If you found Fahrenheit 9/11 preachy, rambling, and annoying, you owe it to yourself to see this movie.

It’s very much a real documentary, in the traditional sense. It covers Kerry’s time in Vietnam and with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War; there’s archival news footage, present-day interviews, and so on. Yes, it’s pro-Kerry, but it’s not a hagiographic biopic like they one they showed at the Democratic convention. It’s an attempt to really talk about what happened in Vietnam, and the role that Kerry and others played in the unresolved-to-this-day national conversation about it.

Not mentioned, but ever-present in my mind, was the inevitable comparison between the thoughtful, articulate John Kerry of 1972, and the George Bush of that era, who was accomplishing little more than hard partying and getting bailed out of various excesses by the grownups unfortunate enough to be responsible for him.

Really, there’s just no question anymore. We all saw it in the first presidential debate last week. I’m betting we’re going to see it again tomorrow night, and any other time we stand these two guys up next to each other in an unscripted context. One of them would make a decent president. The other one has no business being anywhere near the White House.

It’s just not even close.

6 Responses to “Why You Really Should See ‘Going Upriver’”

  1. ferretbait Says:

    One of them would make a decent president. The other one has no business being anywhere near the White House. Itís just not even close.

    Do not know your age, but I have the feeling after reading your thoughts on Kerry’s film that you are too young to remember the Vietnam War. I remember that time in history, which is why I am not voting for Kerry. Reading “Unfit For Command” was a refresher course. Perhaps you should brush up on history before cementing the ideas you have. An uninformed voter is dangerous.

  2. John Callender Says:

    I’m 42. I can remember some of the events of the Vietnam war vaguely, at least from the perspective of a young child living in the US at the time, but wasn’t really politically aware until well into the aftermath. I studied it some in college, en route to a degree in political science, and have maintained an amateurish interest in it since then.

    “Going Upriver” wasn’t some huge revelation for me on the larger issues of the war and the anti-war movement. But it offered an interesting view on Kerry’s role in both.

  3. Mr Bit Torrent Says:

    Um, I looked at the goingupriver page and didn’t see any bittorrent links. Did you just forget to post a link to the legal torrent file?

  4. John Callender Says:

    Hm. I think they must have removed it. Maybe they decided it wasn’t commercially smart to be facilitating downloads of the movie.

  5. Mr Bit Torrent Says:

    Bummer. I snagged a copy of outfoxed via bittorrent. Three days later I saw a copy at the local mega-store and picked it up, since I had already seen it and knew I thought it was worth the (very reasonable) $9 price tag. One of those odd “you sell more copies by letting people pirate it” situations.

  6. John Callender Says:

    Oops. It was there all along; I just lost the link. See:


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