PBS Preview Screening: Last Days in Vietnam + Q&A

Screening Wednesday 21 October 2015, 7:00 PM

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with executive producer Mark Samels.

Last Days in Vietnam chronicles the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon. In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was advancing on Saigon as the South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained, with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind, yet there was no official evacuation plan in place.

With the clock ticking and the city under fire, American officers on the ground faced a moral dilemma: follow official policy and evacuate U.S. citizens and their dependents only, or ignore orders and save the men, women, and children they had come to value and love during their years in Vietnam.

Over the last days in Vietnam, with the clock ticking and the city under fire, 135,000 South Vietnamese managed to escape with help from a number of Americans who took matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many people as possible. Through remarkable archive footage and candid present day interviews, director Rory Kennedy reconstructs the evacuation efforts with sensitivity and concern for accurate historical record.

Last Days in Vietnam is an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature and will premiere on PBS America at 8pm on Sunday 1 November (Sky 534 & Virgin Media 276).

Director/Producer: Rory Kennedy
Producer: Kevin McAlester
Executive Producer: Mark Samels
Year: 2015
Runtime: 60′