SIR! NO SIR! Ho Chi Minimal.Running time: 84 minutes. Not rated (profanity, violent images, drug references). At the IFC Center, Sixth Avenue and Third Street.
THE anti-Vietnam War documentary "Sir! No Sir!" doesn't make a lot of sense, but it does have some fascinating footage of Jane Fonda, both as a dippy young protester and today, when she remains dazzled by her own legend.
The film presents interviews with Vietnam vets who walked off the job or even joined riots to express their opposition to the war. Sounds like an excellent reason not to stock the military with conscripts, but the film isn't interested in analysis, only in Haight-Ashbury clichés like "that's what everybody wanted to do, change the world" or "they thought the revolution was about to start." If there was such a widespread antiwar movement within the military, why did the war drag on so long?
The movie fudges history (the largely discredited "Winter Soldier" investigation of allegedly widespread U.S. atrocities is presented as fact) but the interview with Fonda is revealing. We see her both as a cute young activist and today, when she bursts into a huge smile as she says the words "Nixon invaded Cambodia." In this recent interview she proudly makes an obscene gesture as she explains the meaning of her '60s ditty "FTA": T and A stood for "the Army." Guess what the F was for. This is an unusually honest moment for a Hollywood lefty: Fonda does not pretend to support the troops.
While hawking a book last year, Fonda made mildly apologetic noises about the support she gave to North Vietnam. Here she expresses no regrets. She isn't even aware that most veterans despise her, because some used to attend her rallies. Here is what the vets will not forget, Jane: You led the cheers for Communists who shot down our pilots.