1029 – A Vietnamese take on The Vietnam War documentary

Halong Bay, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Halong Bay (An Bang), in the Gulf of Tonkin in northeast Vietnam, is known for its about 1,600 towering limestone islands and islets, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. Image: © nationsonline.org

Thanh Tan, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Thanh Tan

Episode 1029 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will bring to you a unique perspective of The Vietnam War documentary. It comes from Thanh Tan, the daughter of refugees from South Vietnam who escaped from the workers’ paradise known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1978. She was born in Olympia, Washington and today lives and works in Seattle as a multimedia editorial writer For KOUW.

She has viewed the Burns and Novick documentary The Vietnam War twice. Once in preparation to interview Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for the “Second Wave, her new podcast about American stories with connections to Vietnam. She viewed the 18 hour epic historical saga a second time with her father to gauge his reactions.

Thanh summed up her father’s comments about the program along with her own in an opinion piece she provided for the New York Times titled: What Do Vietnamese-Americans Think of ‘The Vietnam War’?  She explained that she was emotionally exhausted by the experience. The fact she was born after the war had ended she discovered like it or not, the Vietnam War is her war, too.

At first she was genuinely surprised by the strongly negative reactions by some of her fellow Vietnamese-Americans to the film. After the first edition of the ten program series, social media lit up with comments like: This is fake news! The producers are Communist sympathizers! It makes the South Vietnamese look bad! It’s another patronizing film made by two white people!

As for her personal feeling about the show, she stated: “I can definitely say I know more about this war now than I did before. I felt gutted at times – a mix of disbelief, anger and profound disappointment in humanity, American foreign policy, and the egotistical leaders who inflicted extreme violence on innocent people.”

Watching it with her father who was a former ARVN officer and listening to his comments added another layer of complexity to the event.

Listen to EPISODE 1029 of the Vietnam Veteran News and discover what Tranh Tan has to say about the program.

CLICK HERE for access to Tranh’s podcast – Second Wave.

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