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'Hanoi Hilton'

April 05, 1987

I want to explain to Michael Wilmington and the Los Angeles Times that if I wanted to read vehement and vicious attacks upon and disparagement of Reader's Digest in his review of the movie "The Hanoi Hilton" (" 'Hanoi': Cardboard Heroes, Villains," March 27), I would leaf through Village Voice or Nation.

But as a reader of The Times, I do expect objective, accurate and non-superficial writing. I respect Wilmington's views, but indeed, do not care to read his whitewashing of perfidious Jane Fonda, nor his affront and glib vilification of Reader's Digest. I liked the film, it left an indelible impression, but that is my opinion. I am not pressing anyone to accept it.

What I am pressing for is abatement of dumb propaganda on the part of Times film critics. Let Wilmington review films and abstain from derogatory remarks. Whether readers like or do not like the movie in question, the fates of thousands of MIAs still in Asia are on our minds, I hope, and that's precisely the movie's message: "Remember our soldiers, who rot in horrible and tenebrous Communist prisons! Remember our soldiers, and learn what is happening to them!"

PAUL STONEHILL

Los Angeles

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