During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, ...
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Vintage footage from the Vietnam war is presented in High Definition video format along with narration from both war veterans and Hollywood voice talent. The documentary follows key events ... See full summary »
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During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront the same moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate U.S. citizens only--or to risk treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can.Written by
See this one online NOW for free--at least if you live in the States.
A couple hours ago, I saw an interesting tweet. It seems that the Oscar-nominated documentary, "Last Days in Vietnam" is now available to watch for free online. Is there a catch? Yep. You need to live in the United States to view this film from Public Broadcasting. Once I learned that this film was financed by PBS and is part of their "American Experience" series, I was a bit surprised however. After all, these films are shown on television here in the States-- so they are not usually eligible for Oscar consideration, though they have received numerous awards such as the Emmy due to their exceptional quality. Apparently, a few "American Experience" films have been shown in theaters (most likely as part of a film festival) and that is why some have been eligible for the Academy Award. In fact, this is the fourth "American Experience" film to be nominated for the Oscar.
"Last Days in Vietnam" is about the fall of South Vietnam for the North's forces in the Spring of 1975. And, because it's an American Experience film, it's told from the viewpoint of Americans as well as some of their South Vietnamese allies. However, this does not mean it will not be interesting to everyone. The story is compelling and you really don't need to be an American or Vietnamese in order to appreciate the story. It's an interesting topic as folks today really don't talk about this period in history and when I was teaching American history, our curriculum rarely talked about the South falling to the Communist forces in the North.
Like a typical "American Experience" film it's told through lots and lots of interviews as well as stock footage as well as some computer models. It does not have narration--and I actually enjoyed this because instead of talking about what occurred, it lets people who were there explain it in their own words. And, like a typical show in the series, it's exceptionally well made and very interesting. It's clearly a very well made film. However, I would say that it's not necessarily better than any of the other shows in the series, as they are almost always exceptionally well made .
So should this win the Oscar? Probably not, as I still prefer "Virunga"--and recommend you see it as well as "Last Days in Vietnam". I should also note that I have not yet seen two of the nominees, "CitzenFour" and "Salt of the Earth"--as finding these documentaries is not always easy. Hopefully I'll get to these before the awards are nominated and I'll update you on my recommendations.
Here is the link. I have been told that it will only be available to see online for a limited time--so get to it as soon as you can: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365417082/
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