- Investigation, History, Human Rights, Human Interest, and Politics
This powerful and unprecedented report, first by an American filmmaker after the military conflict, movingly documents the human and physical scars of a damaged country as it tries to rebuild the lives of its people and heal the wounds of war.
"Robert Richter was the first American filmmaker allowed in Vietnam after the war, and his seven-week trip down Highway One from Hanoi to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is an enlightening, often touching portrait of civilian rehabilitation after a national trauma." —Village Voice
My Lai -- The emotional peak of the film is a woman at the site of the massacre who tearfully describes the tragedy and how she managed to be one of the few survivors. She was unknown in the U.S. before this film's theatrical release in 1979.
"Terrific documentary in the best tradition of the genre and a just and unbiased piece of journalism. With the distance of 30 years it is by now a historical document in its own right... 5 out of 5 stars."
—German film critic
- Show treatment
Human rehabilitation -- a Center for the Redignification of Women who had been wartime prostitutes, a center to treat drug addicts, an orphanage with U.S.-Vietnamese children, a physical rehabilitation center for patients who lost limbs from post-war land mine detonations
Physical rehabilitation -- a Swedish pulp mill project, a French-sponsored bicycle factory, a UN project to rebuild the war-damaged palace at Hue
Cultural events -- dramatic opera, humorous circus performers, patriotic ballet, solo musicians, visits to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, a War Crimes museum
Work -- in factories, markets and rice paddiess
Side trips to a UN refugee camp for Cambodians who fled to Vietnam to escape Pol Pot, exclusive interviews with government officials and ordinary Vietnamese also are part of this historic film. Wartime action is intercut with today's Vietnam. Many locations had never been filmed before.
A real portrait of a nation we can never forget.
"In addition to all the scenes and faces...one can also catch a glimpse of the beautiful Vietnamese rural landscape with exquisite traditional music in the background. The video reflects the sense of confidence and optimism of the regime in the first few years after its victory. A subtle plea for reconciliation...and normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam." —Indochina Institute Report, George Mason University
ABC, CBS and NBC all declined to back my making this film. Soon after I returned to the US, CBS News asked to license footage from it. Initially PBS was interested but the official there who planned to get it aired, left before the arrangements were finalized and his successor had no interest in it.
- Running time
- 85 minutes
- Robert Richter ... Producer, Director, Writer, Reporter, Sound Recordist
- Burleigh Wartes ... Cinematographer
- Peter Kinoy ... Editor
- Prod. Co.
- Richter Productions
- United States
- Years of Production
- Vietnam, Hong Kong
- Release year
- 125 US Theaters. One small NY oublic TV outlet.
- English, Vietnamese, French
- English Subtitles
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