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"Vietnam in HD" The Beginning (2011)

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Very Good Start to the Series

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
30 November 2011

Vietnam in HD: The Beginning (2011)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

The first of six episodes in The History Channel's documentary takes us through the years of 1964 and '65 as the Vietnam War is about to start. Early in the film we learn how the majority of Americans had never even heard of Vietnam and then we lead into what really got the American government willing to jump in and fight. We visit the Bien Hoa and Pleiku Airbases as they both come under attack and this leads to a new strategy of using ground troops. The final portion of the film takes a look at The Battle of la Drang. If you're familiar with WWII IN HD then you're going to realize that this series follows pretty much the same format. There's all sorts of actual battle footage and we also get interviews with men and women who were fighting in the battles and on top of this we get celebrities doing the narration to their words. A few of those interviewed here include Joe Galloway (voiced by Edward Burns) a writer covering the war and Barry Romo, a Catholic boy who wasn't sure what he was getting into. Once again the most stunning images are the actual footage of the battles. I'm sure everyone watching this series will have at least seen one war movie but it's amazing how the millions of dollars from Hollywood can't compare to the real thing. There are many striking images of battle and especially when we get to la Drang and see all the damage. A lot of people have been unhappy with the "stories" being told and saying that the series isn't painting a true picture of the war. Having not been alive at the time and not being an expert on the war I can't say how accurate the film is. I can say that the footage is quite remarkable and the stories are downright heartbreaking at times including one told by Galloway about an image that haunts him to this day.

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