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Vietnam: American Holocaust


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Editorial Reviews

Narrated by Martin Sheen. A documentary by Clay Claiborne. 87 minutes.

Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Sheen
  • Directors: Clay Claiborne
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Full length
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Linux Beach Productions
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O287YO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Clay on May 11, 2011
Vietnam: American Holocaust opens in the present day at the Veterans for Peace Arlington West Memorial to the fallen US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in Santa Monica. Here the strong connection between our current wars and the war in Vietnam is first made. The question of what makes a holocaust is also raised. Then the scene shifts to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. and while the narration continues it is revealed that the youngest US soldier to die in Vietnam was a Black Marine age 15.

A clip of Vietnam era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in Hanoi in 1995 shows him saying that 3.4 million Vietnamese were killed during the war. Futher news clips from the time reveal some of the horrors of that war and show that news commentators referred to it as a holocaust at the time.

This is followed by a brief history of the 19th century French conquest of Indochina and the Vietnamese liberation struggle from 1945 through the defeat of the French in 1954. This is done with archival footage, much of it very rare, and Martin Sheen's excellent narration and the voices of the principals on both sides of the conflict. Since the focus of the documentary is the American War in Vietnam the pace slows as more details are given about this part of the history.

The reasons for opposing the Vietnamese independence struggle are given by President Eisenhower in a clip from one of his speeches. Then the young Ho Chi Minh is introduced, with special attention to his time in Harlem, NY and his relationship with Marcus Garvey. Again very old and rare footage is used to illustrate these years while Mr. Sheen describes the crucial events.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Allard on September 18, 2010
Verified Purchase
This documentary is about the Vietnam War.

The title says it all.

The documentary includes first person testimony by U.S. Vietnam veterans who actively conducted the war, Vietnamese civilians who experienced the war, and various political figures and news commentators from the period.

It is an accurate and objective testimony to the falsehoods used by U.S. leaders to create war and the atrocities committed by U.S. personnel as a matter of "standard operating procedure".

I strongly recommend this to any one who is a Republican who supports the U.S. war machine. Learn more about the consequences of your beliefs.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert Greer on April 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
Having spent nine months in Vietnam researching aspects of the war,I am thoroughly impressed with the honesty and accuracy of this documentary. The Zippo village patrol system saw villages burnt to the ground on a whim, and Holocaust shows that. The sheer barbarity of the Free Fire Zones, the brutal interrogation of prisoners or suspects, the murderous Phoenix program and corruption in the South are only a few issues covered. If you buy one DVD of the Vietnam War, make it this one. If you can afford two, add The Most Dangerous Man in America. Bravo, Mr Claiborne
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Friedman on November 30, 2012
We now grieve the slaughter of Native Americans and the Jewish Holocaust, but we think we've learned and risen above those evil historic events. Now, we're in danger of placing the Vietnam war into the same amnesic category. Yet there are plenty of living veterans willing to speak of the horrors and, EVER MORE IMPORTANTLY, to draw parallels to US military actions & foreign policies since then, right up to Afghanistan & drones in Pakistan today.

The real importance of this film isn't to document former atrocities but to wake people up to the atrocities that continue TODAY, in our names, with our tax dollars, tacitly approved by our indifference, and perhaps with your votes.

This movie shockingly conveys the reality of war, and don't think it's any more moral today than it was in Vietnam. Brace yourself for a difficult education. I thought I knew the atrocities committed in Vietnam, but this greatly expanded my awareness. "Best" of all, it uses archival footage so one sees & feels for oneself rather than being asked to believe the judgements of talking heads. Listen to LBJ, Gen Curtis LeMay, and others talk about killing the bastards. Listen to guilt-ridden soldiers baring their hearts. Watch them kill "gooks". Listen to Vietnamese tell how their families were brutally slaughtered. This is tough to watch but ought to be mandatory viewing for anybody who supports any aspect of our foreign wars or support of other foreign wars.

Be sure to show it to any young person who might ever consider joining the military. The truth ain't pretty, but it's TRUE!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chrisk on October 19, 2012
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Not for the faint of heart, this well-researched documentary for the most part tells it like it was. If you're interested in the historic timeline of conflict in Vietnam, if you really want to understand the brutality of war, and if you're curious about why other nations don't necessarily share our world view of being "the greatest nation on Earth", buy this DVD. It will shock you.

The premise is that our effort was doomed from the start because we measured our success by body counts. The reality was that we became trapped in a war where civilians and warriors were often indistinguishable and the enemy was willing to absorb millions of civilian and military losses until our political will to fight was broken.

Having been a grunt in Vietnam, I've read dozens of excellent books and first-person accounts about my war. This work, especially the historic timeline, have helped me a great deal to make sense out of my personal experience. It also reinforced my conclusion that blind patriotism without questioning our political and military leadership can be dangerous; There are over 58,000 names written on The Wall as proof.
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