Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentaryHistorians in the News
tags: Vietnam, Ken Burns
They just aren’t comfortable with “The Vietnam War,” the ambitious documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns, which debuted last month with much fanfare and is still being featured on many PBS stations. Vietnam Veterans for Factual History — a Texas-based interest group which includes military veterans, historians and authors in its membership — is challenging both the content and tone of the 10-episode, 18-hour epic.
“Many in the Vietnam veteran community were deeply offended by the series. It correctly sees that war as the origin of the current cultural polarization in American society, and the intention was for the film to help bridge that divide. Unfortunately, its significant factual inaccuracies, omissions, and distortions deliver a message that is very negatively slanted against both the nation of South Vietnam and American involvement,” the group wrote in an open letter to Mr. Burns and his co-producer Lynn Novick, along with PBS and Bank of America, which financed the project.
“The film portrays U.S. support for South Vietnam as blustering, blundering jingoism and the choice of music, graphics, and interviewees demonstrates a bias in favor of the militant leftist anti-war cliches of the 1960s. It demonstrates a prejudice against the more than 90 percent of U.S. Vietnam War veterans who are proud of their Vietnam service. It demonstrates a prejudice against the tragic struggle of the embattled Republic of Vietnam to preserve its national sovereignty. It demonstrates a prejudice against the more than 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers killed by the Soviet-equipped and trained North Vietnamese Army and its Viet Cong subordinates,” the letter said.
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