Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides-Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. THE VIETNAM WAR features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from ...
Many of the combat footage reels shown throughout the series are not from the battle being discussed, for example, during the discussion of Saigon during the Tet Offensive, several videos filmed in the city of Hue are shown as if they are in Saigon. See more »
In a number of instances the music is totally out of place, an example being the use of Led Zeppelin's Kashmire (1975) to support content from 1969 and two previously unknown alternate takes of Beatles songs that weren't even released until Anthology (1995) - a full generation after the depicted events. See more »
Superbly structured, balanced telling of a disastrous tragedy.
Over the years I have soaked up every film and documentary I could find on the subject of the Vietnam war, and I can say this series is by far the most profoundly complete I have seen. It uses insights from the individuals caught up in it - the Viet Cong & North Vietnamese Army, the US Military & South Vietnamese army, civilians from both sides, politicians and journalists alike, to explain, account and report from the early circumstances causing the build up and outbreak of the war through the fierce intensity at the height of the conflict to the final withdrawal and legacies.
It explores and reports the socio-political aspects, the strategies and technologies, the cultural contrasts of the belligerents and most of all the people fighting it. It gets across the absolute sacrificial determined tenacity of the north Vietnamese and Viet Cong people - hand made IEDs and mind boggling hard graft versus the richest most technically advanced, but often disillusioned, army in the world (not the last time this would happen). It covers every angle - it's the most complete and compelling telling of this tragic yet fascinating landmark in our history that I've come across.
If you have an interest in this significant piece of modern history - the first rock n roll war - which became an unmitigated disaster, this brilliant, powerful and compelling series is absolutely unmissable.
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