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      Jimmy in Saigon

      2022 1 hr. 30 min. Documentary List
      86% 7 Reviews Tomatometer Jimmy in Saigon explores the mysterious death, radical life, and forbidden romance of a 24-year-old Vietnam veteran who died in Saigon in 1972. Jimmy's rejection of his family's values and his eventual death created deep trauma within the lives of his surviving family and complicated how he was remembered. Director Peter McDowell, Jimmy's younger brother, was only five years old when Jimmy died under a shroud of secrecy and shame. Jimmy in Saigon follows Peter's 10-year search to uncover secrets surrounding Jimmy's sexual orientation and rumored drug use. Peter finds surprising connections with his deceased brother and struggles to reach a new understanding of his own identity as a gay man. After leaving the army, Jimmy unexpectedly chose to return to Vietnam as a civilian while the war still raged. He died a year later. Why do some aspects of a remembered life fade, while others persist? Why are some memories cherished, and others buried? Peter's journey provides an empathetic lens through which to explore Jimmy's life in Saigon--a story of adventure and of love that was unacceptable at the time and still challenging today. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Reviews

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      Rich Cline Shadows on the Wall Confronting a veil of sadness that he's always felt in his family, filmmaker Peter McDowell documents his impressive investigation to discover the facts about the big brother he barely knew. Rated: 4/5 Dec 19, 2023 Full Review Kelly Vance East Bay Express The story is simultaneously sad and predictable, yet tender and tentative. Jan 18, 2023 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh TheArtsStl ...McDowell takes viewers along the same discovery process he experienced ...This approach works well, particularly for viewers too young to remember the 1970s... Rated: 7/10 Dec 8, 2022 Full Review Jennie Kermode Eye for Film Deftly edited with an eye for detail, this is a personal story which reminds us that history is comprised not simply of great events but of human experiences. Rated: 4/5 Oct 26, 2022 Full Review Sarah Manvel Critic's Notebook What was framed as an act of empathy and understanding is actually exploitative and selfish - kind of like the Vietnam War all over again. Apr 27, 2022 Full Review Frank J. Avella Edge Media Network a poetic documentary that exposes the secrets, lies, and taboo love that existed a half century ago, as well as the self-hatred and homophobia inherent in both the Vietnamese and American cultures. Rated: B+ Apr 22, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Jimmy in Saigon explores the mysterious death, radical life, and forbidden romance of a 24-year-old Vietnam veteran who died in Saigon in 1972. Jimmy's rejection of his family's values and his eventual death created deep trauma within the lives of his surviving family and complicated how he was remembered. Director Peter McDowell, Jimmy's younger brother, was only five years old when Jimmy died under a shroud of secrecy and shame. Jimmy in Saigon follows Peter's 10-year search to uncover secrets surrounding Jimmy's sexual orientation and rumored drug use. Peter finds surprising connections with his deceased brother and struggles to reach a new understanding of his own identity as a gay man. After leaving the army, Jimmy unexpectedly chose to return to Vietnam as a civilian while the war still raged. He died a year later. Why do some aspects of a remembered life fade, while others persist? Why are some memories cherished, and others buried? Peter's journey provides an empathetic lens through which to explore Jimmy's life in Saigon--a story of adventure and of love that was unacceptable at the time and still challenging today.
      Director
      Peter McDowell
      Executive Producer
      Dan Savage
      Production Co
      Peter McDowell Productions
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English