Archive for “The Vietnam War” Documentary

Viewers Beware: Brief Thoughts on the Upcoming PBS Documentary “The Vietnam War”

Posted in Film, Opinions, Politics, Society with tags , , on September 10, 2017 by Ian Pham

Novick and BurnsLeft to right: Lynn Novick and Ken Burns, the duo filmmakers of the upcoming PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War.” The first episode premiers next Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (David Burnett / Vanity Fair)

I got a bad feeling about this. That’s my take.

The reasons I am sharing my brief thoughts, and not a full-on analysis on the subject, are because: 1) I haven’t watched the documentary series, which, spanning 10 episodes, will be 18 hours in total, and; 2) The news articles out there that talk about the documentary don’t really tell you much, besides how great the liberal mainstream media thinks it’s going to be.

That’s why, based on my findings from a few articles I’ve read, I can only say that I do not have a very good feeling about this upcoming documentary.

At a glance, I would say that this new documentary is the political left’s latest multi-million dollar effort to screw us (the Vietnamese freedom community) over. Before I watch the whole documentary, however (… all 18 freaking hours of it), it would not be fair for me to write the whole thing off. With that said, given the track record of the liberal media, I have much reason to dismiss this documentary as the latest leftist hatchet job against the U.S. and South Vietnam, designed to further bury the truth and turn the more gullible of the millennial generation against us as well.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, interviewees of the documentary range from U.S. soldiers who served in Vietnam, to deserters of the U.S. forces, as well as “North Vietnamese and Vietcong fighters.”

The prominent attention given to the North Vietnamese and Vietcong interviewees is a red flag (pun intended) in terms of possible biases. Acknowledging that I have not seen the documentary yet, I have concerns that a major focus of the film will be devoted to telling the side of the communists and viewing them in the positive light so typical of the leftists since the 1960s.

Not mentioned in the Daily Mail source, The New York Times claims that the documentary will also include some South Vietnamese soldiers as interviewees. Though that may be reason for optimism, I suspect that the “South Vietnamese” speakers chosen for the documentary may not be authentic South Vietnamese, but are actually traitors, communist sympathizers, ARVN deserters, Vietcong or Northern spies, and others of the sort. I am concerned that they are fake South Vietnamese, South Vietnamese in name only, who were specially selected by the creators because they hold views that fit the liberal antiwar narrative.

Another worrisome possibility is that these South Vietnamese interviewees, who may actually be legitimate and devoted citizens of the Republic of Vietnam, will not be fairly represented in the documentary. I am here concerned that these people, true to the South Vietnamese republic, may appear on the film with pure intentions, but get deliberately misquoted by the film’s creators, with their words twisted and distorted to fit the liberal antiwar narrative. Manipulation of words and facts was a major tactic of the liberal media during the war, is still frequently used up to this day (just look at the mainstream media coverage of Donald Trump), and is something we should be watching out for when viewing this documentary.

Furthermore, Vanity Fair says that, on top of the North Vietnamese and Vietcong, the film will also be presenting interviews with “an anti-war protest organizer,” as well as “journalists who covered the war.” Neither of these interview subjects seem like they will be particularly friendly to the non-communist side.

In regards to Vietnamese interviewees from the North and the South, via the same Vanity Fair source:

It [the documentary]… includes South Vietnamese veterans and civilians, and, most strikingly, former enemy combatants: Vietcong guerrillas and North Vietnamese Army regulars, now gray and grandfatherly (or grandmotherly), many of whom showed up for on-camera interviews in their old uniforms, gaudy yellow epaulets on their shoulders.

The passing mention of “South Vietnamese veterans and civilians,” followed by a more detailed introduction of the communists, with humanizing depictions such as how “gray” and “grandfatherly (or grandmotherly)” they look, or the fawning observation that they “showed up for on-camera interviews in their old uniforms, gaudy yellow epaulets on their shoulders,” leads me to believe that the the author of this Vanity Fair article is much more enthusiastic and reverent of the communist side. By extension, I fear that these pro-communist sentiments echo across all creative fronts relating to the project, whether they be news outlets covering the documentary, or producers directly involved with this documentary.

I don’t know about you, but it seems like, intentionally or not, but almost certainly intentionally, this new PBS documentary “The Vietnam War” will most definitely skew to the side of the communists, Ho Chi Minh, and the antiwar “movement” that the liberals, even up to present today, still cling to as some sort of shining achievement.

The Daily Mail reports that the makers of the documentary “hope viewers will draw their own conclusions – while opening a dialogue about the controversial war.”

My concern about this above statement is that the makers of the documentary will bombard the viewer with 18 hours of pro-communist bullshit propaganda, flushed with $30 million-worth of gripping production value and epic “storytelling,” before “encouraging” the viewers to “draw their own conclusions.”

In summary, no, I do not have a good feeling about this upcoming PBS documentary. However, I am not worried about the negative impact this documentary will have on our freedom-loving Vietnamese community.

We will need to brace ourselves. It might hurt at the start, but we’re strong, we’re smart, and we’re resilient. We’re children of the Republic of Vietnam, and we didn’t brave the crashing ocean waves of the Pacific, become successful in all fields including sports, medicine, law, academics, government, military, etc., etc., to be undone by some bullshit liberal propaganda documentary.

It might not even be that bad, but in the event that it is, we’ll handle it. We are the freedom-loving Vietnamese community. We are children of the Republic of Vietnam, and we will handle it.

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