The Vietnam War Documentary Film: Aftertaste - Dân Làm Báo

The Vietnam War Documentary Film: Aftertaste

VNCH-Ngoc Truong (Danlambao) - Guests gathered at SBTN studio on October 15, 2017, another five guests on teleconference in a three-hour conference about “The Vietnam war” last shown on PBS. From ARVN captain Phan Nhat Nam, RVN former ambassador Bui Diem, to journalist Bui Tin, journalist Pham Tran... to the younger generation of Vietnamese American... all agreed that the series demonstrated the great shortcomings of the documentary costing 10 years and $30 million, was made by the famous American director.

The Vietnam War series have provided information about the South Vietnamese regime, the South Vietnamese soldiers, and the South Vietnamese soldiers who had fought to death to protect the cause of freedom for the nation. Worse, The Vietnam War has defamed the image of the Republican soldiers, seeing them as "soldiers, ghosts", and the South Vietnamese regime only knows the infighting. The movie was unable to show the main cause, and who had triggered the war. It is the Vietnamese Communist Party and its leaders that, from the very beginning of their founding, had intended to redden Vietnam, under the direction of the China Communist Party (CCP) and the Soviet Union. Le Duan said: "We hit the United States is the fight for the Soviet Union, China," that explainecd everything, the government of Vietnam today can not deny it. 

It was jus another documetary made by American for American and it reflected American view only. Americans make the film to learn from the failures, to reconcile between Americans themselves, and try to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Vietnamese, from back home to overseas, 42 years after the last gunshot, after watching the American film about the war in Vietnam came up with the same question- What we have to do next?

The first thing that was mentioned was the need for a Vietnam War documentary film by the Free Vietnamese people. Director Nguyen pointed out that he should not be responsible for the director Ken Burns, because he had to make films at the request of the sponsors. The list of sponsors featured at the beginning of each new episode is the one who decided what to be shown to the public.

Nguyen Kim Binh also said that do not rely on Americans. It is the Free Vietnamese community to make films of the Vietnam War in a more comprehensive and complete way so that our children and grandchildren understand the history of Vietnam more accurately. This is a necessary and urgent task, because the "live witness" of the war in Vietnam is now getting old, falling apart in the near future.

Billy Le - a young Vietnamese-born student in Little Saigon - wants his generation to share more education with the children about the truth of Vietnam war. For example, when you watch The Vietnam War, parents can tell the descendants of the defective view of the film "for Americans".

Oral history is very important for future generations to have a chance to refer. According to Binh, two UCI and CalState Fullerton colleges now have archives of Vietnamese refugees. Community support, and join the enrichment of materials for these archives.

The problem of Vietnamese people back home is more urgent than overseas Vietnamese. After more than 40 years, more and more generations of the "winning side" have realized that the bloody, ruthless of Vietnam war is completely unnecessary. It was made according to the intentions of the Chinese communists, under the effective support of the Communist Party. And today, the Vietnam communist government's dependence on the CCP has not deteriorated.

What did the Vietnamese do to prevent the Chinese threat? The lesson from The Vietnam War shows that Vietnamese can not rely on Americans to write their own histories and can not rely on Americans to change Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese people who have to take the responsibility to defend and change Vietnam course in future history. Communist Party of Vietnam, after nearly half a century after the war ended, can not unify the nation, fail to build the country, free from slavery to foreigners especially the big China.

Future film directors of Vietnamese root should go out investigate, collect information and bring it to the whole world. It was our father land where the war happened, we had neither books (in English, French…) nor documentary films made by Vietnamese for Vietnamese and the world to understand our view, our side of the cruel war just passed. Definitely it is a giant project that needs financially support and time from everyone, but let’s roll up the sleeves and get involved.

Many talented young Vietnamese film directors, cameramen, scrip-writers and academic scholars, where are they? Always aftertaste about the war in Vietnam, how about telling our side of the story, our view of the war. Can anyone speak up for the Vietnamese veterans still living with sufferings in Vietnam or scattered all ovet the world?

It is about time.

As it said: “Better late than never”.

October 18, 2017

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