Cinema: Vice And Victims in Viet Nam

CASUALTIES OF WAR Directed by Brian De Palma; Screenplay by David Rabe

Why are we in Viet Nam? Again. At this late date. In the case of Casualties of War, there can be only one answer: for further diagnostic tests on the national conscience. For the story it tells, based on an incident first reported in The New Yorker by Daniel Lang two decades ago, is too brutally horrific to contemplate unless some moral edification can be derived from it, some guide to the larger enigmas of human conduct.

The story, recounted in a grinding, realistic style that is unlike Brian...

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