Over four million Vietnamese died in what one side calls the American War and the other side calls the Vietnam War. A war so brutal, that it has been described as their 'own' Third World War by the Vietnamese. In this rare instance, it is those who lost the war that have almost exclusively written its history. Whilst countless stories have been told from the American point of view, most often reducing the Vietnamese to faceless shadows very little has been heard from the other side. The official Vietnamese line meanwhile continues to issue purely one dimensional propaganda. The Face of the Enemy is a unique documentary, in that it tells the story of the Vietnamese that fought in "The American" war, in their own words. In the film the veterans have the chance, often for the first time, to recall the experiences that transformed and changed their lives. A film that has inspired the filmmakers is Peter Davis' "Hearts and Minds" from 1975. A documentary, whose truth and relevance has been merely re-strengthened with the passage of time. The title of that film refers to a speech given by Lyndon B. Johnson in which he proclaimed the escalation of the American involvement in the Vietnam War. English subtitles hard coded to the film
Telling emotional stories that haven’t been heard before, Vietnam War veterans recount their experiences in this one-hour television documentary. Vietnam War Stories presents a portrait of the war told entirely from the perspective of veterans, who reflect on their memories of the conflict from five decades ago. For many service members, these experiences still feel like they happened yesterday. Members of the U.S. Army's 23rd Division share a moment of camaraderie in the field in 1969. More than 100 veterans from all branches of the U.S. armed services were interviewed by producer Mik Derks for the program. They share moving stories of triumph and loss in the field of duty, of sacrificing nearly everything on the battlefield, and of the strong bond of brotherhood and companionship in the ranks. Archival video, historical photography and maps evoke the stark imagery of the war alongside the veterans’ stories. This is not the story of the Vietnam War, but of the men and women who went to Southeast Asia to serve their country. In the voices of a few resonate the stories — each unique, each profound — of the three million who served, the ones who didn’t return and those who passed away before their stories could be told.