Rare documentaries on Vietnamese war to be screen
When a nation is determined to gain independence and liberation, no amount of military strategy or force can crush their will. According to a former French foe, Vietnam deserved independence and liberation after all that it suffered.
Pierre Mendes France (1907 – 82), who served as President of the Council of Ministers, whose negotiations ended French involvement in the Indochina War, said as much the night before the signing ceremony of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
That night the French politician joined a debate with four journalists from the U.S. and France about the agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam.
Doctors from the army medical corps at work during wartime, shown in a scene in the film Vietnam - The March to Peace. (Photo courtesy of the Archives Department)
A documentary recording the debate will be screened in Vietnam for the first time on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30th, 1975).
It’s one of three films collected by the State Records Management and Archives Department following the project of “collecting rare and precious archives of Vietnam and about Vietnam”, approved by the then-Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2012.
Representing the Archives Department, Nguyen Thi Nga, vice head of the department, negotiated and bought the copyright from the French National Cinema Institute to broadcast three documentary films in Vietnam.
The two films, entitled Vietnam, Peace for Vietnam and Vietnam - The March to Peace were produced in France between 1970 and 1973.
While the film Peace for Vietnam is about the debate of Pierre Mendes France and journalists, the film Vietnam shows the debate between Nguyen Thi Binh and Belgian-American journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave, American journalist Peter Kalischer, French professor of political science Milton Sacks, French politician Philippe de Villiers and French journalist Serge Bromberger.
Bình gave trenchant words about bombings, the progression of the Paris Peace Accords and the current situation in Vietnam.
The 100-minute documentary Vietnam - The March to Peace tells the history of Vietnam from 1900 to the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
Prime Minister Pham Van Dong is seen in the documentary Vietnam - The March to Peace. (Photo courtesy of the Archives Department)
Audiences will have the chance to see the rare interviews of President Ho Chi Minh, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong and General Vo Nguyen Giap.
The film also uses images of Cambodian leader Norodom Sihanouk, US President Richard Nixon, French General Charles de Gaulle and U.S. politician Henry Kissinger.
“The films will be showcased in front of the public nationwide to provide people a view on the war from the perspective of foreign filmmakers and journalists,” said Nga.
“We acknowledge that the films are a rare and precious source of information which recorded the important period of the national history.”
“We will preserve and promote the value of these documentaries,” she said.
In the framework of the project, the Archives Department also collected two French and Russian films in 2015. These films depicted the wartime in the south of Vietnam and the life of President Ho Chi Minh in Russia. They have been screened nationwide and served the people’s needs for research and study.
On the occasion, a series of documentary films entitled ‘Vietnam War: National Interest’, the first documentary film about the Vietnam War, aiming to clarify Vietnam's important policies on the war and on the Cold War overall, will be screened.
The film was produced by Ho Chi Minh City Television and the Media 21 Communication Joint Stock Company, consisting of three episodes, totaling 90 minutes, with exclusive footage and in-depth interviews with insiders and many scholars from Vietnam, Russia, China, the U.S. and Australia.
The film is expected to be broadcast on HTV9 at 9:00 pm on April 24th, 25th and 26th./.