These days, Vietnam’s lush green countryside, tropical mountains, and white sandy beaches attract tourists from around the world. However, 50 years ago, these same beaches witnessed the landing of US Marines while airstrips and combat bases were cut into the fields and mountaintops. Tunnels were dug below ground by Vietnamese to survive the ferocious aerial bombardments that followed. An entire generation of American boys became the soldiers who fought and died here while political controversy raged at home over this war. The same generation of young Vietnamese men and women likewise became soldiers in a war that was divisive in their own homeland. Six US veterans and six Vietnamese veterans who fought and survived now tell their stories to young Vietnamese and American university filmmakers in a unique documentary film which transitions between the segments independently produced in the US and in Vietnam. Now, 50 years later, the guns are silent, the old aircraft rust in the rain, and the surviving warriors are left to come to terms with today’s reality of peace and friendship between the US and Vietnam. What is the message from these men and women who sacrificed so courageously in their youth? And what value does their experience offer today, in our modern world?
About the Filmmaker
Phil Tuckett is a professor of film at Dixie State University. He is the head of the Digital Film program as well as DSU Films, the professional production arm of the film department.
Prior to coming back to his alma mater to teach, Phil was vice president of special projects at NFL Films for 21 years. He was also a producer, director, and writer for NFL Films (1969 to 1986) and a journalist and professional athlete (1967 to 1969). Phil is the recipient of 30 Emmy Awards for shows like “Football America,” “The 100 Yard Universe,” “Autumn Ritual,” and “Lost Treasures of NFL Films.”
He has also produced non-sports related programming like “Blood from a Stone” for the History Channel, “Faces of Evil” for TNT, and music videos for a wide variety of artists including B.B. King, Santana, Def Leppard, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Phil and his wife Judy also have their own production company, Bristlecone Films.
Watch the post-screening discussion with director Phil Tuckeet and veteran/film subject David Hansen