Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Heart of Darkness The Vietnam War Chronicles 1945-1975|
Director: Edward Feuerhard
Studio: E1 Entertainment Release Date: 09/05/2006 Run time: 420 minutes
Heart of Darkness - Redux
Avid | USA | 04/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Initially, I was reluctant to purchase this collection, because it appeared to be the same as "Battleground Viet Nam - War in the Jungle." However, I was wrong. This collection is much better. For one thing, the photography is, given time, space, elements, etc., very good and it contains a good deal of footage that I had not seen before. It is clear and well produced. It is also tightly edited with the voice-over to maintain the pace, although several of the action shots are used more than once at different points in the story. I was also pleased that, unlike "Battleground", the noise of the music or of the combat scenes were kept at a reasonable level, allowing the voice-over to be heard clearly.
On the negative side, in addition to repeated use of footage, the voice-over, at least in the early portion refers to Kennedy's use of "Green Berets" as advisors in the early years and their role leading up to the war in earnest in 1965. However, much of the footage shown when discussing the Green Berets is that of Marines, Navy SEALs and Navy Riverene personnel. These are fairly minor issues, given the overall quality of the collection.
One really negative aspect, as I pointed out in my review of "Battleground", is the use of the same individual who uses the same pseudonym of "John" and is physically unidentifiable, hiding in black shadow. He says he is a "special forces" type. Both keeping his identity a secret and stating he was a special forces operator are red flags to most of us who were there, as there are so many "wannabes" running around, identifying themselves as Viet Nam veterans, many of whom never even served, as was pointed out in the book by B. G. Burkett, "Stolen Valor".
I have two issues with using this type of unidentified person: One, most of us who spent time in Viet Nam do not hide our identities in shadow. Most of us are proud of our service. Two, most Viet Nam vets do not sit in the dark and ramble incessently about the war, as "John" seems to do. Plus, what he has to say, picked up in a bar, in other videos, or war movies, really ads nothing to the collection, so may be taken with a grain of salt.
Overall, for those interested in a visual yet edited version of the Viet Nam war (excluding "John"), this is by far superior to "Battleground" and would be an excellent teaching tool. For a more in-depth analysis and a good understanding of the Vietnamese people, their history and how they have dealt with invaders for centuries, one of the best books is Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam: A History"."
emma | Orange, Ca | 01/09/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Strangly edited and out of place music is just the beginning of my criticisms. Though it purports to be a doc about Vietnam from 1945-75 this is mainly about the Green Berets and other military forces with little to no focus on American or Southeast Asian politics. This is not a historical documentary as it simply does not provide the needed historical context. This is jingoistic, pro-military garbage that sidesteps the political situation and historical context leading up to the war, (or for that matter, politics DURING the war!)"