Monday, October 23, 2017

The Vietnam War

As told through the eyes of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese who fought the war on both sides, Ken Burns documentary is an exhaustive look into the war in Vietnam, beginning with French colonization and continuing through the terrible conflict following U.S. intervention that needlessly took thousands of American lives, divided the country, and still ended with Saigon falling to the communists. I'm not sure much is added to the unfortunate, bloody, and muddled saga and its subjects aren't always as interesting you would expect. Further, it seems Burns struggles with more modern efforts, especially this and his World War II documentary, not knowing where to mount his focus. The last episode, which focuses on post-withdrawal, is very moving, and the series is obviously given the same trustworthy treatment as the director's other ventures. The music in the film is a mixed bag, sometimes used effectively other times cliched rock standards used in many a Vietnam War picture. However, there is an excellent score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
*** out of ****