Smile Politely

See the documentary Jimmy in Saigon at Spurlock Museum next week

University of Illinois alum Peter McDowell is bringing his documentary Jimmy in Saigon to Spurlock Museum as part of their AsiaLENS Film Series. The film details the “tragic death, radical life, and personal life of a 24-year-old Vietnam veteran who died in Saigon in 1972.” That veteran is Jimmy McDowell, Peter’s older brother. Their brother John McDowell composed the score, and it was executed produced by another U of I alum, Dan Savage.

The three brothers all grew up in C-U, and all attended University Laboratory High School. 

From the press release:

2022 is both the film’s completion year and the 50th anniversary of Jimmy’s death in Saigon. As we both celebrate finishing the film and commemorate the anniversary of Jimmy’s last year in Saigon, his provocative choices cause us to reflect: how has the United States changed, or remained stagnant in terms of foreign policy, domestic politics, and national conversations surrounding sexual identity? As kick-off points to these discussions, JIMMY IN SAIGON provides a window to fruitful and lively dialogues.

The film will be screened on October 11th at 7 p.m. and October 16th at 1 p.m. in the Knight Auditiorium. The screenings are free and open to the public, and no ticket is required. Peter McDowell will be there for a Q&A following each showing. 

Top image from Jimmy in Saigon Facebook page.

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