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Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War (1980)

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Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War, a 26-part Canadian television documentary on the Vietnam War, was produced in 1980 by Michael Maclear.

The documentary series was consolidated into 13 hour-long episodes for American television syndication. The series was released on videocassette format by Embassy and won a National Education Association award for best world documentary.

The military, political, and social repercussions of the Vietnam War continue to be felt, in the ways in which it altered the landscape of American life forever. Written by CNN correspondent Peter Arnett, the 13 episodes of Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War trace the entire course of the conflict, from the closing days of World War II when Ho Chi Minh first began to assemble his revolutionary army, to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Documentary filmmaking simply doesn't get much better than this. With extensive archival footage shot by both sides and interviews with participants ranging from infantry soldiers to diplomats, Vietnam has a detached, journalistic objectivity and fairness throughout.

It would be much easier to understand the war if it were possible to lay the blame at the feet of the French, or Kennedy, Johnson, or Nixon, but the war's progress was never that clear-cut. Rather, it was a slippery slope that inexorably led to thousands of deaths and laid waste to the country of Vietnam.


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