The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist Weekend Theater: 8 Flags For 99 Cents

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 15, 2013 7:30PM


To say the country is divided about intervening in the current civil war in Syria is an understatement. Today we provide an example of how the more things change the more they stay the same.

In 1970 public perception was beginning to turn on the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War as the body count rose, tensions mounted and the realization that the war would drag on as we sent more troops to Southeast Asia had become more apparent.

Chicago progressives openly opposed the war in Vietnam. Others remained steadfast in their support while more expressed conflicting viewpoints—they felt the war was just but had grown frustrated by the growing list of casualties.

Filmmaker Chuck Olin captured the feelings of white residents in Garfield Ridge to the Vietnam War in this 26-minute short film, Eight Flags for 99 Cents. Olin began working in film production in 1965 as an associate producer for the Film Group, A film production company that made commercials and documentaries on subjects like the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the Black Panthers. Olin later created his own production company that specialized in documentaries and commercial work over a 30-year period.

Eight Flags for 99 Cents was a sponsored film commissioned by Chicago chapter of Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace. Chicago Film Archives transferred it from its original 16mm format and restored it two years ago with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.