Thursday, April 2 2020


Rare documentaries about wars to be screened

Update: April, 21/2018 - 10:00
Difficult job: Doctors from the army medical corps at work during wartime, shown in a scene in the film Việt Nam - The March to Peace. — Photo courtesy of the Archives Department
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — When a nation is determined to gain independence and liberation, no amount of military strategy or force can crush their will. According to a former French foe, Việt Nam deserved independence and liberation after all that it suffered.

Pierre Mendes France (1907 – 82), who served as President of the Council of Ministers, whose negotiations ended French involvement in the Indochina War, said as much the night before the signing ceremony of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.

That night the French politician joined a debate with four journalists from the US and France about the agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Việt Nam.  

A documentary recording the debate will be screened in Việt Nam for the first time on the occasion of the Liberation Day (April 30) celebration.

It’s one of three films collected by the State Records Management and Archives Department following the project of “collecting rare and precious archives of Việt Nam and about Việt Nam”, approved by the then-Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng in 2012.

Representing the Archives Department, Nguyễn Thị Nga, vice head of the department, negotiated and bought the copyright from the French National Cinema Institute to broadcast three documentary films in Việt Nam.

The films, entitled Việt Nam, Peace for Việt Nam and Việt Nam - The March to Peace were produced in France between 1970 and 1973.

While the film Peace for Việt Nam is about the debate of Pierre Mendes France and journalists, the film Việt Nam shows the debate between Nguyễn Thị Bình and Belgian-American journalist  Arnaud de Borchgrave, American journalist Peter Kalischer, French professor of political science Milton Sacks, French politician Philippe de Villiers and French journalist Serge Bromberger.

Bình gave trenchant words about bombings, the progression of the Paris Peace Accords and the current situation in Việt Nam.

The 100-minute documentary Việt Nam - The March to Peace tells the history of Việt Nam from 1900 to the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.

Audiences will have the chance to see the rare interviews of President Hồ Chí Minh, Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng and General Võ Nguyên Giáp.

The film also uses images of Cambodian leader Norodom Sihanouk, US President Richard Nixon, French General Charles de Gaulle and US politician Henry Kissinger.

“The films will be showcased in front of the public nationwide to provide people a view on the war from the perspective of foreign filmmakers and journalists,” said Nga.

“We acknowledge that the films are a rare and precious source of information which recorded the important period of the national history.”

“We will preserve and promote the value of these documentaries,” she said.

In the framework of the project, the Archives Department also collected two French and Russian films in 2015. These films depicted the wartime in the south of Việt Nam and the life of President Hồ Chí Minh in Russia. They have been screened nationwide and served the people’s needs for research and study. — VNS


Historic: Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng is seen in the documentary Việt Nam - The March to Peace. — Photo courtesy of the Archives Department

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