Is war inevitable? What would happen if humans could understand conflict without creating enemies or fundamentally different “others,” wrongheaded and therefore expendable? What if we could see that soldiers fight for many reasons, ideals, and pressures, but share a universal experience? Would this knowledge change the way we look at current wars in the Middle East? In this film, a young filmmaker, distant from the standard narrative of the U.S. war with Vietnam, uses archival footage and interviews to retell the story. Michael T. Barry Jr. brings training as a historian and filmmaker, compassion for the older generations of Americans and Vietnamese who suffered from the war, and a critical new eye to their stories​. The Universal Soldier will rely upon archival and interview footage that has not been seen by U.S. audiences, including archival footage by Communist and U.S. combat photographers, interviews with Northern Vietnamese women who guarded and maintained the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and with ordinary U.S. soldiers remembering a war that continues to trouble them and the collective memory of their generation.