F.T.A. (1972)

In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War, Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland did more than just become part of an anti-war comedy tour across Southeast Asia. They also reached out directly to enlisted soldiers who were critical of the war.

The documentary of this tour, F.T.A., shows the tour as it goes to Hawaii, The Philippines, Okinawa and Japan. It was directed by Francine Parker, who was only the eleventh woman to join the Director’s Guild.

In addition to Fonda and Sutherland, Paul Mooney, Peter Boyle, Steve Jaffe, Holly Near (The Magical Garden of Stanley Sweetheart), Pamela Donegan, Len Chandler, Michael Alaimo (Mr. Mom), Rita Martinson and Yale Zimmerson all appear.

While the tour was a success, the film was incredibly controversial and opened the same week that Fonda made her trip to Hanoi. Within a week of release, American-International Pictures withdrew it from circulation, with Parker saying that this was the result of “calls were made from high up in Washington, possibly from the Nixon White House, and the film just disappeared.” David Ziegler, whose documentary Sir! No Sir! appears on the blu ray of this movie and was part of the team that helped restore F.T.A. said, “There’s no proof, but I can’t think of another reasonable explanation for Sam Arkoff, a man who knew how to wring every penny out of a film, yanking one starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland from theaters at a big loss (and, apparently, destroying all of the prints, since none were ever found).”

Now, the film has now been fully restored by IndieCollect in 4K and is available from Kino Lorber, along with a new introduction by Fonda, a 2005 interview with the actress, the documentary Sir! No Sir! and a booklet with essays by historians David Cortight and Mark Shiel.

Regardless of your politics, this is a piece of history that I feel that everyone should watch.

You can get this directly from Kino Lorber.

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