Last Days in Vietnam

Last Days in Vietnam

DVD - 2015
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"April 1975. During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon, the South Vietnamese resistance crumbled. The United States had only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. With the lives of thousands of South Vietnamese hanging in the balance, those in control faced an impossible choice -- who would go and who would be left behind to face brutality, imprisonment or even death. At the risk of their careers and possible court-martials, a handful of individuals took matters into their own hands. Engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations, they waged a desperate effort to evacuate as many South Vietnamese as possible"--Container.
Publisher: [Arlington, Virginia] : PBS, 2015
ISBN: 9781627892759
1627892753
Branch Call Number: 9.597 La
Description: 2 videodiscs (approximately 220 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in

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f
finearts1922
Oct 31, 2018

I like most parts of these PBS films in the American Experience lineup, but they most always have a political undertone at some point. I love the great footage and commentary but please keep the politics for other PBS programs.

a
AQUILEA777
Oct 17, 2018

Shows US personnel heroically rescuing Vietnamese collaborators before Northern army overran Saigon, with desperate helicopter flights from roof of embassy. Ignores background of these events. Several interviews with US side, but none with Communists. (See 18-hour Ken Burns set for full account.)
--- We sneered at the French for failing to hold Vietnam against the will of the people. The French saw the ultimate futility, and made an orderly, unhurried withdrawal.
--- A conference of several nations at Geneva divided Vietnam temporarily till a nationwide election could be held, which the anti-colonialist Communist leader, a national hero, was expected to win. We refused to agree, and declared South Vietnam a separate country under our protection. The Communists thereupon sought to reunify the country by force.
--- Our leaders contrived the phony Tonkin Incident as an excuse for massive intervention. They said that Communists would seize India, Japan, and invade Calif if we lost Vietnam. Over the succeeding years, we exterminated 2,000,000 Vietnamese (raping many), bombed and burned the country to ruins, and deluged it with poisons.
--- This destruction proved useless. At length we began to see reality as the French had much earlier. We entered extended negotiations with the Communists in Paris, where both sides felt comfortable. An agreement was eventually reached, but neither side fulfilled it. We were supposed to pay $3.25 billion in reparations, but never did.
--- South Vietnam was not a viable state, but a cardhouse of corruption, vice and war-profiteering. Without the support of US bombing, it soon collapsed.
--- We were finally driven out completely, defeated and demoralized. Unlike the French, we fled in extreme disorder as shown in the film.
--- Communists did not seize India and Japan, nor invade Calif. Our leaders who said they would were never punished for these lies. Why were they ever believed? Because Americans assumed their own unique virtue and right to trample others. Our country was built through seizures of land and removal of the natives; we had long asserted control over Latin America (Monroe Doctrine), and had nuked Japan, etc. Bombing Vietnam seemed normal and reasonable. Americans were slow to change their thinking, and the change did not last.
--- The film seems to blame Congress for not prolonging the disaster further.
--- Vietnam was left ravaged and poisoned with birth-defect-causing chemicals. Millions of unexploded US cluster bombs continue to kill Laotian farmers.
--- The Vietnam fiasco did not end US aggression. In subsequent years, we fraudulently invaded Panama and bombed Serbia. 9/11 gave the excuse to wreck several Muslim countries, causing another million deaths. We currently support the destruction of Syria to please Israel, and the Saudi destruction of Yemen. Netanyahu has long demanded we bomb Iran. We will likely go on launching lawless wars till nuclear annihilation results.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Sep 28, 2017

Spent two years there; still trying to sort it out; know one thing: the American public--the cowardly scum who reviled us when we returned--all hopefully will die ugly painful deaths. The best of America went to Vietnam and about a third of those saw combat; some of us all day every day. Just happened across this incredibly well-done film of the last days. I finally published my book, To Cratisto, in 2008. There are so many lies about the Vietnam War still being put out--like the pos the lying liberal scum Ken Burns is trying to make money on--which I won't bother to watch. Watch this film and you will understand why those of us who served feel that we betrayed the South Vietnamese: just like the American people betrayed us--and have never had the decency to apologize.

LPL_DanC Apr 27, 2016

An amazing documentary about the fall of Saigon every American should watch, this movie makes a great video companion piece to Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The initial chapters of The Sympathizer cover the exact time period and events depicted in archival footage and described in the interviews with eyewitnesses featured in Rory Kennedy's (a daughter of RFK's) film. It will haunt you.

h
Hopalong_Kid
Mar 01, 2016

Insightful documentary - worth watching and understanding

h
hoacornell
Feb 28, 2016

A treasury of film from the
"Last Days of Vietnam". Great camera work under the most difficult situations. These reports are the work of dedicated newsmen, who film the last flights out of Saigon. It is an amazing story.

t
tj_is_cool
Nov 10, 2015

Very well done documentary. I feel for the Vietnamese who were at the US embassy but could not get onto the helicopters.

d
duane767
Sep 26, 2015

This documentary gave me a clearer - probably the clearest - explanation as to why Viet Nam remains a sore spot for both the Vietnamese and the US to this day. It is incredibly sad how these events which happened forty years ago are actually being replayed again today before our very eyes.

C20T11 Aug 26, 2015

Terrific Documentary.!

real_thing Aug 13, 2015

its deep.survival of the fittest.
as real as real gets!!!!!!!!

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j
jimg2000
May 11, 2015

"The end of April of 1975 was...the whole Vietnam involvement in microcosm...Promises made in good faith, promises broken; people being hurt because we didn't get our act together. You know, the whole Vietnam War is a story that kind of sounds like that.
But on the other hand, sometimes there are moments
when good people have to rise to the occasion and do the things that need to be done. And in Saigon, there was no shortage of people like that."

j
jimg2000
May 11, 2015

As we began to contemplate
evacuation, the question, the burning question was, "Who goes, and who gets left behind?"
===
The broken promises:
President Nixon pulled out all the stops, and in a letter to President Thieu, he promised that if the North Vietnamese were to substantially violate the terms of the Paris Agreement, the United States would respond with full force. In other words, reenter the war.
McNamara: We were, under the terms of the Paris Agreement, committed to resupplying the South Vietnamese. ... They (Congress) said (To President Ford's request), "No more. No more troops, no more money, no more aid to the Vietnamese."
Captain Herrington (started speaking to us in Vietnamese): Nobody is going to be left behind. When you are in American embassy, you are in American soil. I promise, me and my soldier will be the last one leave the embassy.

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