Under the Radar

'Last Days in Vietnam' Premieres at Sundance

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Filmmaker Rory Kennedy premiered her new documentary Last Days in Vietnam this week at the Sundance Film Festival. The film recounts the chaos surrounding the final weeks of the Vietnam War as North Vietnamese forces closed in on Saigon. Kennedy focuses on the men and women who had to decide whether to follow White House orders to get the hell out or to attempt to save as many South Vietnamese as they could before leaving.

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It's not a story that's been widely told and Kennedy tells Fox News that it took some work to convince high-level men like Henry Kissinger and Richard Armitage to participate in the movie. She says, "There was some resistance. It took a little bit of encouraging of these folks but pretty much everyone who I wanted to be in the film agreed to be in the film." Armitage personally led an unsanctioned operation that helped almost 30,000 men, women and children flee the country.

Kennedy also gets into the topic of why the withdrawal was so disorganized. President Gerald Ford tried to push through an appropriation that would've funded the evacuation of 200,000 South Vietnamese but Congress was having none of it.

Early reviews are strong but we're probably going to have to wait until next January to see the film when it premieres on PBS' American Experience.

 

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