Author Topic: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS  (Read 6694 times)

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Offline Rifleman62

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The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« on: December 12, 2016, 10:20:21 »
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.
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Offline BeyondTheNow

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The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 14:27:42 »
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/
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 15:04:35 »
I'm wanting to watch this.

Already own the soundtrack, it's brilliant.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 15:00:49 »
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.

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 15:37:56 »
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.

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 22:16:15 »
I'm wanting to watch this.

Already own the soundtrack, it's brilliant.

It is :nod:
"Stop worrying about getting back to who you were before it all went wrong. To heal is to understand that the person you've since become is the one who's most capable of doing whatever it is you were put here to do."~SR

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 23:09:45 »
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:
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 00:04:03 »
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.
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Offline kkwd

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 00:41:58 »
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
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 06:30:10 »
I meant the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score that was written for the series. Those two do a bang up job for films.

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.
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 07:53:01 »
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
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2017, 15:12:11 »
Maybe you are having a flashback to your "Tour Of Duty" watching days.

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

Season 1 not bad; seasons 2 and 3 real stupid. Started watching "The Golden Girls" instead.  ;D

The opening credits were good though.

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Offline Shrek1985

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 15:46:42 »
Is it at least better than "The War"? That one was terrible

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 16:52:35 »
Is it at least better than "The War"? That one was terrible

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

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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 12:02:49 »
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.
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Re: The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2018, 10:07:00 »
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:

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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2018, 11:26:45 »
Just watched it on Netflix.

I thought it was better than the war, but not as good as the civil war.
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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2018, 11:28:17 »
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.
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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2018, 11:58:18 »
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.
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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2018, 12:18:02 »
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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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2018, 12:37:03 »
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.
In the civil war,  it was much easier to relate to both sides of the conflict. They had letters from soldiers all over the north and south at the same place, relating their experiences these battles. Some soldiers stories stop while another's continues along.

In the war,  it was the classic,  america versus evil that has been told a million times,  and sadly,  in much better ways the the war.

Vietnam returned to the soldiers on two sides,  and did a remarkable job of showing the vietcon,  south Vietnam,  north Vietnam, and Americans, but this war was not so much a war on the ground as it was a series of presidents trying not to be seen as the one to lose the conflict,  with no clear strategy on how to win it.

In short, the civil war was the most pure,  a story of soldiers against other soldiers,  with the perspective of both.

The war was pure,  soldiers against soldiers,  but the axis might as well have been a bunch of faceless,  soulless ghouls.

The Vietnam war did a great job of soldiers against soldiers, but this was a war where you get the sense that nomatter what the soldiers did,  this was a political war that was going to be won or loss in the white house,  not the battlefield. Not pure in that sense,  but still very very solid.
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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2019, 09:32:10 »
I used about 40 minutes of the documentary last week with students in 4th year International Justice - the episode titled “History of the World” and specifically the My Lai massacre, we discussed the legal outcomes, the political sentiment and in particular public sentiment ( which was overwhelmingly not in favour of any prosecution) vs. the military sentiment which apparently approached consensus as a general sentiment of military personnel favouring a quick trial and severe punishment for the lot.

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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2019, 18:32:32 »
I used about 40 minutes of the documentary last week with students in 4th year International Justice - the episode titled “History of the World” and specifically the My Lai massacre, we discussed the legal outcomes, the political sentiment and in particular public sentiment ( which was overwhelmingly not in favour of any prosecution) vs. the military sentiment which apparently approached consensus as a general sentiment of military personnel favouring a quick trial and severe punishment for the lot.


What are you going on about ? Trial and severe punishment for who ? Don't forget your para's in Somalia. So why did Mylai happen and why did your experience in Somalia happen ? Calley served 3.5 years of house arrest and a Federal judge ordered the Army to release him.So far we haven't executed anyone yet although we have a case from 2003 that may see it happen.Then there is ft hood where Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 some odd. He was sentenced to death but no telling if that sentence will ever go forward.

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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2019, 20:48:47 »


What are you going on about ? Trial and severe punishment for who ? Don't forget your para's in Somalia. So why did Mylai happen and why did your experience in Somalia happen ? Calley served 3.5 years of house arrest and a Federal judge ordered the Army to release him.So far we haven't executed anyone yet although we have a case from 2003 that may see it happen.Then there is ft hood where Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 some odd. He was sentenced to death but no telling if that sentence will ever go forward.

Not quite sure that I understand your points. Let me add a few facts to the mix.

In brief, both My Lai and the Shidane Arone incident happened because of less than adequate leadership and sloppy orders and instructions that could be easily confused. In both cases charges were laid against those who directly committed the violent acts as well as the chain of command above them. (noteworthy in My Lai is that the event was covered up for a lengthy period of time and that as a result many of the shooters who were draftees had already been released and had fallen into a grey area where they could no longer be charged pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as then configured because they were civilians and not by the civilian justice system which at the time had no jurisdiction to try crimes committed in foreign countries.)

The results of trials at all levels were not entirely dissimilar in the two cases at trial or appeal although there was clearly more command and civilian "involvement" in the US cases (Nixon ordering house arrest vice jail, the Federal Court habeas corpus application [incidentally while the hearing judge granted habeas corpus and released Calley, an appeal court overturned that, returned him to jail where his sentence was twice commuted [from life to twenty then ten years]  and eventually he was paroled and his sentence commuted to time served by the Convening Authority and the Secretary of the Army and the fact that numerous charges laid against officers in the chain of command were dropped or discontinued by Convening Authorities etc)

The big difference in the two cases is how the two systems applied the concept of "command responsibility" in these cases. That is somewhat strange as in fact US law and ours tends to follow the same post-WW2 cases that outlined the concept and is generally the same. Nowhere is this difference more obvious than in the acquittal of Capt Medina who directly ordered the killing of civilians at My Lai and Maj Sewards whose was convicted for giving orders that led to Arone's abuse.

Generally, Cloud Cover's statements are fair ones. There clearly was a difference of opinion as between the US military and US public's perception, I think in large part because the military (and especially the US Army's legal system, which clearly understood the various responsibilities up and down the chain of command and laid the appropriate charges once the facts were known) and the public who didn't and saw Calley as an undereducated scapegoat rather than the murder that he was.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre for a thumbnail view of My Lai and the Peers Inquiry https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Peers_inquiry.html for the detailed version

For a Somalia thumbnail see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_affair

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 00:20:59 by FJAG »
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2019, 23:22:00 »
Pretty good analysis FJag.