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The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS

Rifleman62

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http://deadline.com/2016/12/ken-burns-vietnam-war-pbs-video-1201865233/

Ken Burns says PBS’ new 18-hour documentary film series The Vietnam War is “without a doubt” the most ambitious project he and his partners ever have undertaken. This may come as a surprise to fans of the Civil War documentaries chronicling the deadliest war in American military history, that made Burns a household name and got him declared, by more than one pundit, the most accomplished documentary maker of his generation.

Even PBS, in today’s trailer release (at link), noted The Vietnam War, which it will debut in fall 2017, rounds out a trilogy of Florentine Films’ exploration of American wars that began with Burns’ “landmark series” The Civil War (1990), followed by Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s seven-part series about World War II, The War (2007).

This new project, from Burns and Novick, was six years in the making.

“There was no way we could avoid telling this story,” Burns emotes in the trailer which, hopefully, he will explain fully at TCA in January.

In today’s trailer release, Burns is quoted as saying “The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” and that “Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart” – though maybe that quote was written before the presidential election.
 

BeyondTheNow

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This has been absolutely excellent so far. In airs on PBS each evening at 8pm. Tonight will be the 4th evening. The first 2 episodes were 1hr each, last evening's was 2hrs. The footage, detail, narration, relevant history, interviews (with American troops as well as Vietnamese from multiple areas) has been honest, raw and insightful.

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...

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/home/

About:

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/about/
 

Scott

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I'm wanting to watch this.

Already own the soundtrack, it's brilliant.
 

tomahawk6

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I watched an episode and couldnt stand watching anymore.I liked what he did with the Civil War but he should have left Vietnam alone because he clearly has an anti-Vietnam war bias. I lived that time and it was polarizing left vs government. The idiots that were in the anti-war movement are firmly entrenched in the democrat party today.
 

FJAG

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tomahawk6 said:
I watched an episode and couldnt stand watching anymore.I liked what he did with the Civil War but he should have left Vietnam alone because he clearly has an anti-Vietnam war bias. I lived that time and it was polarizing left vs government. The idiots that were in the anti-war movement are firmly entrenched in the democrat party today.

Too bad that you left it when you did. I lived the time as well albeit from the safety of being in the Canadian Army at the time and am finding the show balanced and informative.

The latter episodes actually show very realistically the polarization that existed and explored the reasons for them. There are more interviews from patriotic boys who enlisted enthusiastically then there are from anti-war protesters (although I expect that to change as time goes on) More interestingly it also explores the very heavy doubts and debates within the government about the correctness of their actions and the rationale as to why many decisions (such as the massive build-up) were made or avoided. There is also a very good ongoing examination of why the opposing strategies and tactics employed either succeeded or failed.

I think you may be glossing over the point that the initial entry into Vietnam was made by Kennedy, a Democrat, and the massive buildup to a half million men in country came under Johnson, another Democrat. Withdrawals from Vietnam started in 1969 under Nixon, a Republican. I think that one can safely say that while there was a significant left-wing component to the war, a much larger part of the movement was made up of people from all walks of life who simply had stopped believing that the war was worth the massive cost in American boys.

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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Scott said:
I'm wanting to watch this.

Already own the soundtrack, it's brilliant.

Looking at the Amazon site it lists the songs on the soundtrack and I note that the Stones "Paint it Black" isn't on the list. I'm sure I heard it in one of the episodes and to me it has always been the quintessential Vietnam War tune. The music included, however, is excellent.

:cheers:
 

BeyondTheNow

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FJAG said:
Looking at the Amazon site it lists the songs on the soundtrack and I note that the Stones "Paint it Black" isn't on the list. I'm sure I heard it in one of the episodes and to me it has always been the quintessential Vietnam War tune. The music included, however, is excellent.

:cheers:

Huh, strange. You are correct, it’s definitely there. I heard it also.
 

kkwd

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FJAG said:
Looking at the Amazon site it lists the songs on the soundtrack and I note that the Stones "Paint it Black" isn't on the list. I'm sure I heard it in one of the episodes and to me it has always been the quintessential Vietnam War tune. The music included, however, is excellent.

:cheers:

Maybe you are having a flashback to your "Tour Of Duty" watching days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DtbWB0lykE
 

Scott

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I meant the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score that was written for the series. Those two do a bang up job for films.

FJAG said:
Too bad that you left it when you did. I lived the time as well albeit from the safety of being in the Canadian Army at the time and am finding the show balanced and informative.

The latter episodes actually show very realistically the polarization that existed and explored the reasons for them. There are more interviews from patriotic boys who enlisted enthusiastically then there are from anti-war protesters (although I expect that to change as time goes on) More interestingly it also explores the very heavy doubts and debates within the government about the correctness of their actions and the rationale as to why many decisions (such as the massive build-up) were made or avoided. There is also a very good ongoing examination of why the opposing strategies and tactics employed either succeeded or failed.

I think you may be glossing over the point that the initial entry into Vietnam was made by Kennedy, a Democrat, and the massive buildup to a half million men in country came under Johnson, another Democrat. Withdrawals from Vietnam started in 1969 under Nixon, a Republican. I think that one can safely say that while there was a significant left-wing component to the war, a much larger part of the movement was made up of people from all walks of life who simply had stopped believing that the war was worth the massive cost in American boys.

:cheers:

Great post.
 

Gunner98

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FJAG said:
I think you may be glossing over the point that the initial entry into Vietnam was made by Kennedy, a Democrat, and the massive buildup to a half million men in country came under Johnson, another Democrat. Withdrawals from Vietnam started in 1969 under Nixon, a Republican. I think that one can safely say that while there was a significant left-wing component to the war, a much larger part of the movement was made up of people from all walks of life who simply had stopped believing that the war was worth the massive cost in American boys.

:cheers:

"During his years as president, Kennedy tripled the amount of American economic and military aid to the South Vietnamese and increased the number of U.S. military advisors in Indochina. He refused to withdraw from the escalating conflict in Vietnam because, he said, "to withdraw from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam, but Southeast Asia. So, we are going to stay there.

Some historians allege that just weeks before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, he supported a military coup that overthrew and murdered South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem." (https://www.shmoop.com/vietnam-war/john-f-kennedy.html)

It was "the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression". The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident
 

FJAG

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Shrek1985 said:
Is it at least better than "The War"? That one was terrible

Never saw "The War". I heard it was terrible.  >:D

:cheers:
 

BeyondTheNow

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I just want to chime in about it again. I watched the last episode last evening.

This is one of the best war documentaries I've watched. I'll echo FJAG in that I didn't find it slanted at all. I found the entirety of it was presented very matter-of-factly, by the end of it showcasing events thoroughly from all sides and also delving into how things continued after the Americans left.

I'm the type of person who enjoys the human aspect of situations. Thoughts, feelings, introspections, etc. The interviews were so crucial to many portions of the doc and added an important element. I particularly enjoyed hearing more of the Vietnamese perspective, especially when speaking about the struggles solely between their own people and the emotions surrounding.

A portion of this episode was focused on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and the thoughts and feelings of the vets surrounding it. (Good and bad) Those scenes were so touching. It was particularly interesting for me, as I've visited the memorial and now knowing even more about the history behind it, the energy and thoughts that are tied into it for so many people and why makes that experience even more important to me.   

Anyway, for anyone interested, I highly recommend it.
 

mariomike

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FJAG said:
I lived the time as well albeit from the safety of being in the Canadian Army at the time

I was a 16 year old militia recruit in 1970. All I knew about Vietnam was what I saw on TV.

The documentary made me think of Bill Genovese USMC.  :salute:
 

Altair

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Just watched it on Netflix.

I thought it was better than the war, but not as good as the civil war.
 

daftandbarmy

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Altair said:
Just watched it on Netflix.

I thought it was better than the war, but not as good as the civil war.

They should make this into a test of some kind for all politicians.
 

brihard

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Funny enough i just watched the first episode last night and will probably watch the next today before work. If the first episode is an indicator of the quality of the show, I’m in for a treat.
 

MARS

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Brihard said:
Funny enough i just watched the first episode last night and will probably watch the next today before work. If the first episode is an indicator of the quality of the show, I’m in for a treat.

You are indeed in for a treat. It was the first Ken Burns show I watched.

And I agree with Altair - Civil War was even better, and I say that as someone with zero interest in the topic.  I think  perhaps its because Civil War doesn't have the benefit of tv footage to rely on for its story telling..only photographs and letters read aloud...something about that made it a little..haunting, I guess.  Definitely worth checking out as well.
 
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