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Vietnam War Era: Films
This research guide supports the study of the Vietnam War Era, and the 2009 First-Year Experience Course and its primary text, Tim O'Brien's THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.
Film can be an excellent resource for your research.Our library’s film collection covers a wide
range of topics and, such as for the Vietnam War, may provide perspectives from
such film genres as documentaries, drama and even comedy.Borrowing from our film collection is
restricted to Huntingdon students, faculty and staff.When searching for films in Countess, the
online catalogue, you can limit your search results to only films by clicking on “Videos” in
the “Limit To:” box.
Winner of three Academy Awards: Jane Fonda (Best Actress), Jon Voight (Best Actor) and Waldo Salt and Robert C. Jones (Best Screenplay), this film takes a look at the aftermath of war from the perspective of the Vietnam War.
A mix of epic history and intimate family portrait, Daughter from Danang follows the reunion of a Tennessee woman, Heidi, with her Vietnamese mother and siblings after 22 years. Shipped to the U.S. in the waning days of the Vietnam war, Heidi--formerly Mai Thi Hiep--was the daughter of a white American soldier and a Danang woman abandoned by her Viet Cong husband. Fearing reprisals against Amerasian children, Hiep's mother, despite unbearable pain, gave Hiep to an adoption agency. Raised by an abusive woman in Pulaski (birthplace of the KKK), Hiep/Heidi kept her full heritage secret. This episode of PBS's American Experience follows Heidi's journey home: There is sorrow, joy, and relief, of course, but also a slow-brewing uneasiness as cultures collide. As raw expectations of her impoverished, Third World family begin to grate on Heidi, the burden of carrying two national destinies becomes comically and tragically oversized in the poor woman's shoes. --Tom Keogh (Amazon Reviews)
Producer/Director Errol Morris won an Academy Award for Best Documentary for his film in which he interviews Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Morris makes use of " ... a ton of archival material ... (and) probes the reasons behind the U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War--and finds a depressingly inconsistent policy." -- Amazon.com
This documentary follows four Vietnam War veterans on their return to Vietnam in 1981, visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), and the countryside, meeting local Vietnamese and witnesses their life and struggles. To quote one of the veterans, "It takes fifteen years, but at last the war is over for us. I feel a rage at the conditions here now, and want to help these people."
"Well-produced and directd with an eye to documentary-like realism and authenticity, ... (the film) centers upon a military undertaking of familiar futility during the Vietnam War. It follows a squad of 14 recruits from initial R&R through 10 days' worth of hell, as the men make 11 agonizing assaults on a heavily fortified hill." -- Variety
"A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis' landmark documentary ... unflinchingly confronts the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Using a wealth of sources-from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad-Davis constructs a powerfully affecting portrait of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and shocking, ... (it) is an overwhelming emotional experience and the controversial winner of the 1974 Academy Award®" -- Product Description
While not specifically about Vietnam, this award-winning documentary "... is a dramatic window on the dilemma of individual U.S. soldiers in war. Made with the cooperation of the U.S. Army, the film profiles eight American soldiers, including four who decide not to kill, and become conscientious objectors; and four who believe in their duty to kill if necessary."
This compilation contains a wealth of "unforgettable moments" both in television entertainment and news history, including Walter Cronkite's report following his trip to Vietnam in which he states his personal opinion that the United States cannot win the war.
Contents: Disc 1:The Roots of war ; America's Mandarin, 1954-1963; Disc 2: LBJ goes to war, 1964-1965; America takes charge, 1965-1967; America's enemy, 1954-1967; Diisc 3: Tet, 1968 ; Vietnamizing the war, 1969-1973; Cambodia and Laos; Disc 4: Peace is at hand, 1968-1973 ; Homefront, U.S.A. ; The end of the tunnel, 1973-1975 ; Legacies.