Rory Kennedy’s hard-hitting war documentary “Last Days in Vietnam,” which premiered at Sundance earlier this year to rave reviews, focuses on the emergency evacuation of U.S. forces in the final days of the Vietnam War.
“Last Days in Vietnam” is not only a tale of heroism, but on a much broader scale, it also examines U.S. foreign policy towards its ally, South Vietnam, from an ethical perspective.
“I hope [the film] will remind us that that amidst one of our country’s darkest chapters, there were moments of profound courage,” said filmmaker Rory Kennedy in a statement provided to Indiewire.
In an audio excerpt, presumably pulled from an interview with a American Vietnam veteran who was on the ground in Saigon in the days leading up to the city’s collapse, the veteran asks the question weighing on most people’s minds, but they are just too afraid to ask: “Who goes and who gets left behind?”
Said Kennedy: “During those final desperate days, a brave group of American men and women saved the lives of a great many at-risk South Vietnamese who otherwise would have faced imprisonment or death. And now almost forty years later, as the US withdraws its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are again taking stock of the human cost of entering a conflict without a clearly defined exit strategy. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly does echo. I set out to make a film that would be much more than a historical documentary—it would be a living, breathing testimonial of keen relevance today. The theatrical release of the film couldn’t come at a better time. I hope audiences will be as moved watching it as I was making it.”
“Last Days in Vietnam” is receiving a limited theatrical release through American Experience Films. The film will open in New York on September 5 and subsequently expand to other cities around the country throughout the remainder of September and into October.