Like the Vietnam War itself, the GI antiwar movement started small and within a few years had exploded into a force that altered history. Like the times from which it grew, the movement involved organized actions and spontaneous resistance, political groups and cultural upheaval. Today, at a time when American troops are again fighting a protracted, questionable war, this military insurgency is all but eliminated from collective memory. Even though it profoundly impacted American society, it rarely appears in historical accounts.
The first film ever to retell the story of resistance to the war within the military, Sir! No Sir! features news reports from local and national television broadcasts and archival images from newspapers and magazines. Recently shot interviews with individuals involved in the struggle include Hollywood activist Jane Fonda; soldiers imprisoned for refusing to fight, train other soldiers or ship out to the frontlines; Vietnam veterans who became antiwar activists or joined the over 500,000 soldiers who the Pentagon listed as deserters during the war; the leader of the Presidio 27 mutiny; and soldiers who went on strike while in Vietnam among others.
Exclusive footage from documentary coverage of the movement includes FTA, the feature-length film about Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland's antiwar stage review that traveled to military bases around the world; Vietnam veterans hurling their medals onto the Capitol steps; refusal by troops to engage in combat at Firebase Pace (responsible for speeding up the final withdrawal of U.S. ground forces); never-before-seen Super-8 and 16mm film footage of events in the GI movement shot by GIs and civilian activists; and an audio recording made by Richard Boyle, journalist and author of The Flower of the Dragon and the Oliver Stone film Salvador.