In this Academy Award® nominated film by Rory Kennedy (yes, of THOSE Kennedys’) for American Experience – we learn about the last chaotic days after the fall of Saigon as there is a desperate scramble to flee before the VietCong take over the city. Told documentary style in the words of those who lived through those days and using extraordinary footage from the actual events, this film will pulverize your heart. And, with the large population of Hmong people in Minnesota who relocated here after the war – it feels that much more present and relevant.
It’s a long, quiet film with lots of dialogue, but if you’re paying attention, the emotional resonance is real. For sure watch past the first hour to where they tell the story of a Vietnamese pilot who hijacks his own military helicopter to pick up his family and then takes off over the Pacific Ocean — finally (as fuel is running low) he encounters a US military ocean liner, and literally drops his family from the helicopter onto the deck of the ship to be saved… It’s heady stuff.
To learn more about the events of the last days in Vietnam, check out these further resources from PBS.
What: American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam
When: Tuesday 4/28 at 8 p.m. on tpt 2