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Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

from Film Forum, 10/07/04

Sure, he can strike a commanding pose during a debate, but is John Kerry capable of serving as a compelling subject in a documentary? Based on the book Tour of Duty, George Butler's documentary Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry chronicles the candidate's experience as a Navy Swift boat commander during the Vietnam War and his protests of that same war in the early '70s.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls the film "serious-minded," noting that it "wrestles with questions about the meaning of patriotism, blending compelling archival footage and photographs with talking-head interviews with fellow veterans to create an emotional, if highly idealized, portrait of Kerry. Though temperate in tone, the film ultimately comes across as advocacy journalism, opinions of which will vary according to viewers' political stripes."

Mainstream critics are giving the film a warm reception.