"Karlin is one of the most gifted, passionate and powerful writers of his generation."-George Garrett
Wayne Karlin's memoir War Movies recounts his return to Vietnam as scriptwriter and actor in the award-winning Vietnamese film Song of the Stork. On his journey, Karlin lives in two worlds-the world of postwar Vietnam and the world of film. Past and present, illusion and reality, humor and sorrow blend as he works on the film and converses with his former enemies. Particularly powerful are the contrasts between the young and old generations of Vietnamese and the meditative quality of the narrative as Karlin explores the ironies involved in bridging the gap between past and present. For example, we hear the story of the coward who became the national poster boy for patriotism because he is photogenic, and we chuckle when the only extras the director can find to play the American GIs are Russian students. What is reality? What is fiction? What are the consequences of former sacrifice? These are some of the underlying themes explored in the course of this intriguing narrative.