Presented by DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Directed and Produced by Rory Kennedy for American Experience Films/PBS
Tickets: $12 Adults | $7 Students (with valid ID)
If ever there was a film to prove the famous adage that: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” it is Rory Kennedy’s Oscar-nominated documentary Last Days in Vietnam. Kennedy details the panic and personal heroism that attended the fall of Saigon in the waning days of the Vietnam conflict. As people employed increasingly desperate measures to escape the country, the stage was set for a staggering final act in this theatre of war. The parallels to present-day, with the recent withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, are readily apparent, but history possesses a power that is almost staggering in its strength and poignance.
During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. The United States has only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. As Communist victory becomes inevitable and the U.S. readies to withdraw, some Americans begin to consider the certain imprisonment and possible death of their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends. Meanwhile, the prospect of an official evacuation of South Vietnamese becomes terminally delayed by Congressional gridlock and the inexplicably optimistic U.S. Ambassador. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, a number of heroic Americans take matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many South Vietnamese lives as possible.