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?
May 22, 2021