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Ken Burns’ new Vietnam War documentary series to shed light on today’s “disunity”

Four soldiers sit at a table in South Vietnam, 1972


The Vietnam War spanned more than a decade, from the arrival of U.S. support troops in 1961 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. It’s a conflict that remains one of the most painful chapters in United States history.

Now, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick look back on this period in a ten-part documentary series The Vietnam War.

In his conversation with Stateside, Burns said that the Vietnam Era suffered from a “virus of disunion and separatism,” not unlike our current political moment. His documentary takes an immersive approach, telling the story “like a complex novel with lots of different characters.”

The first installment of The Vietnam War aired last night on PBS.

Listen to the full interview with filmmaker Ken Burns above.

Michigan Radio originally aired this story on April 17, 2017.

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