Today we are joined by author and Vietnam Veteran Tim O’Brien and the Award-winning Director and Producer of The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien, Aaron Matthews.
Tim is a literary giant in the US, who has written many books about the Vietnam war, including The Things They Carried as the most famous one. The documentary follows him writing his final book, that he wanted to leave as a memoir and legacy for his sons.
I loved this gripping documentary, and it’s just impressive how Aaron followed Tim’s life for 5 years, still filming even when Tim became seriously ill.
We talk about the making of the film and about Tim’s views on war in general. He’s a fascinating man who manages to make me laugh even when discussing difficult topics. He’s made me re-evaluate the way I view the wars we wage and I feel like I’ll be mulling this discussion over for a good while yet… “
We pride ourselves in our sophistication, our cosmopolitan, and our awareness of moral issues. Yet we just abandon that in a Stone Age response to things, let’s just kill people.” – Tim O’Brien
04:08 – The trailer for the documentary The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien.
13:42 – The difficulties talking about being at war and how Tim opened up to Aaron.
16:32 – What it’s like being filmed while almost dying from pneumonia.
22:05 – Some of the funny things Tim did on camera.
25:44 – What Aaron was trying to portray in making this film.
28:11 – The life-changing realization Aaron had while making the film.
30:06 – Tim’s views on the draft and what it feels like to be drafted.
37:51 – The fact that most Americans don’t know the wars we’re in or why we’re in them.
42:44 – The way technology has changed warfare.
45:42 – The chances there are of living in a world without war.
48:18 – Why Aaron wanted to make the film.
52:31 – Why Tim doesn’t oppose wars even though he is against most of the wars we wage.
58:27 – The tribalism behind warfare.
1:00:34 – The separation between the policymakers and the men on the ground in war.
1:03:54 – How divisive American politics has become.
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