Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 18:00

F.T.A. (F*** the Army)

Francine Parker


Saturday 29/08/2020


Original version with subtitles

F.T.A. (F*** The Army)

Film Notes

One day in the fall of 1970 while I was filming Klute […] a man named Howard Levy came to see me. He was a celebrity in the GI movement, a physician who had done prison time for refusing to train special forces going to Vietnam. He pitched an idea to Donald Sutherland and me: why not put together an antiwar alternative to Bob Hope’s traditional pro-war entertainment? He even had a name for it: F.T.A.. Those letters formed a popular acronym among GIs (Fuck the Army), but for us (publicly, at least) it meant Free the Army. Howard wanted us to try to bring the show to U.S. military bases both stateside and in the Pacific. I found the concept irresistible. […] The show was intended not only to support the soldiers’ antiwar sentiments but to call attention to the way soldiers were dehumanized in the military. […] We also decided to make a documentary film of the tour, and a company called American International agreed to distribute it. By summer we had a new, more diverse cast. Besides Donald and me, there was singer Holly Near, poet Pamela Donegan, actor Michael Alaimo, singer Len Chandler, singer Rita Martinson, and comedian Paul Mooney. Francine Parker, a Hollywood producer, took over the directorial reins. When I watch the film we made, I am impressed by the extent to which we achieved a real ensemble. Everyone had his or her own solo bit; no one stood out more than the others. Donald, of course, was a mainstay. He played President Nixon to my Pat. […] When I hear people today saying that anti-Vietnam War activists were antisoldier, I wish I could rerelease that film. It wasn’t a great piece of art – it didn’t need to be. Just the fact that we showed up in support of the soldiers was important. What we did was raw, unprecedented, outrageous, and, in today’s environment, totally unthinkable. We succeeded because the soldiers were ready and ripe with passionate antiwar, antimilitary feelings. 

Jane Fonda, My Life So Far, Random House, New York 2006    

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Michael Alaimo, Len Chandler, Pamela Donegan, Jane Fonda, Rita Martinson, Robin Menken, Holly Near, Donald Sutherland, Donald Trumbo. F.: Eric Saarinen, Juliana Wang, John Weidman. M.: Joel Morwood, Michel Beaudry. Int.: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Pamela Donegan, Len Chandler, Michael Alaimo, Holly Near, Paul Mooney, Rita Martinson, Yale Zimmerman. Prod.: Francine Parker, Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland per Duque Films. DCP.