Preview – The Vietnam War


If your understanding of the Vietnam War is mostly gathered from Hollywood movies, then this 10-part documentary series will give you a much better idea of the conflict.

Made by directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, this programme tries to give a fair and balanced account of the war, and features interviews from people on both sides. Starting with a double-bill, the first episode begins in 1858 when the French invaded Vietnam, and continues up until 1961, with the country divided between Ho Chi Minh’s communist north and Ngo Dinh Diem’s untested southern regime.

The second episode deals with President John F. Kennedy and how he and his advisors considered how deeply to get involved with the south.

The Vietnam War is on BBC Four at 21.00.