The Sixth Side of the Pentagon

Directed by Chris Marker and François Reichenbach

26 minutes / Color
Release: 2007
Copyright: 1967

The Sixth Side of the Pentagon is on the same DVD as Chris Marker's The Embassy

"If the five sides of the pentagon appear impregnable, attack the sixth side."— Zen proverb

On October 21, 1967, over 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam. It was the largest protest gathering yet, and it brought together a wide cross-section of liberals, radicals, hippies, and Yippies. Che Guevara had been killed in Bolivia only two weeks previously, and, for many, it was the transition from simply marching against the war, to taking direct action to try to stop the 'American war machine.'

Norman Mailer wrote about the events in Armies of the Night. French filmmaker Chris Marker, leading a team of filmmakers, was also there, and made THE SIXTH SIDE OF THE PENTAGON.

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From young men burning their draft cards, to the Yippies chanting "Out, demons, out!" while trying to levitate the Pentagon, to thousands of protestors rushing the steps of the Pentagon itself and some actually getting into the building, THE SIXTH SIDE OF THE PENTAGON, by contemporaneously putting us in the midst of the action yet combining the experience with a wry and reflective commentary, is a remarkable time capsule and reminder of events from forty years ago, 1967-the turning point of opposition to a long and unpopular war.

"Two of Chris Marker's most boldly political films… [THE EMBASSY] is an emotionally powerful film, especially in its closing moments, speaking more about the temper of the times than any history of the era has yet expressed… [THE SIXTH SIDE OF THE PENTAGON] is equally powerful documentary footage… breathtaking and emboldening."-Bob Ham, DVD Corner

"Marker isn't there simply to record reality, he is there to write, to rewrite reality during the filming.… The director becomes a witness to this historic event, recording the memory of a moment when social criticism becomes political action."—Sofia Norlin, Association des Cinémas de Recherché d'Ile-de-France

"Eloquent… impressive… Chris Marker is among that rare breed of men in whom the currents of political engagement and searching human honesty reinforce and enrich rather than antagonize each other."—Larry Loewinger, Film Quarterly

"There probably isn't a film that covers the March on the Pentagon better than THE SIXTH SIDE OF THE PENTAGON… a valued addition… recommended."—Christopher Lewis, Educational Media Reviews Online

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