History

The Vietnam War | Broadcast Version

The Vietnam War is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. In an immersive 360-degree narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses.

The Weight of Memory (March 1973-Onward)

1h 51m

While the Watergate scandal rivets Americans’ attention and forces President Nixon to resign, the Vietnamese continue to savage one another in a brutal civil war. When hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese troops pour into the south, Saigon descends rapidly into chaos and collapses. For the next 40 years, Americans and Vietnamese from all sides search for healing and reconciliation.

Episodes

  • The Weight of Memory (March 1973-Onward): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Weight of Memory (March 1973-Onward)

    S1 E10 - 1h 51m

    While the Watergate scandal rivets Americans’ attention and forces President Nixon to resign, the Vietnamese continue to savage one another in a brutal civil war. When hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese troops pour into the south, Saigon descends rapidly into chaos and collapses. For the next 40 years, Americans and Vietnamese from all sides search for healing and reconciliation.

  • A Disrespectful Loyalty (May 1970-March 1973): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Disrespectful Loyalty (May 1970-March 1973)

    S1 E9 - 1h 52m

    South Vietnamese forces fighting on their own in Laos suffer a terrible defeat. Massive U.S. airpower makes the difference in halting an unprecedented North Vietnamese offensive. After being re-elected in a landslide, Nixon announces Hanoi has agreed to a peace deal. American prisoners of war will finally come home – to a bitterly divided country.

  • The History of the World (April 1969-May 1970): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The History of the World (April 1969-May 1970)

    S1 E8 - 1h 52m

    With morale plummeting in Vietnam, President Nixon begins withdrawing American troops. As news breaks of an unthinkable massacre committed by American soldiers, the public debates the rectitude of the war, while an incursion into Cambodia reignites antiwar protests with tragic consequences.

  • The Veneer of Civilization (June 1968-May 1969): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Veneer of Civilization (June 1968-May 1969)

    S1 E7 - 1h 51m

    Public support for the war declines, and American men of draft age face difficult decisions and wrenching moral choices. After police battle with demonstrators in the streets of Chicago, Richard Nixon wins the presidency, promising law and order at home and peace overseas. In Vietnam, the war goes on and soldiers on all sides witness terrible savagery and unflinching courage.

  • Things Fall Apart (January 1968-July 1968): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Things Fall Apart (January 1968-July 1968)

    S1 E6 - 1h 28m

    On the eve of the Tet holiday, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch surprise attacks on cities and military bases throughout the south, suffering devastating losses but casting grave doubt on Johnson’s promise that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.” The president decides not to run again and the country is staggered by assassinations and unrest.

  • This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967)

    S1 E5 - 1h 28m

    American casualties and enemy body counts mount as Marines face deadly North Vietnamese ambushes and artillery south of the DMZ and Army units chase an elusive enemy in the central highlands. Hanoi lays plans for a massive surprise offensive, and the Johnson Administration reassures the American public that victory is in sight.

  • Resolve (January 1966-June 1967): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Resolve (January 1966-June 1967)

    S1 E4 - 1h 57m

    Defying American airpower, North Vietnamese troops and materiel stream down the Ho Chi Minh Trail into the south, while Saigon struggles to “pacify the countryside.” As an antiwar movement builds back home, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Marines discover that the war they are being asked to fight in Vietnam is nothing like their fathers’ war.

  • The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965)

    S1 E3 - 1h 58m

    With South Vietnam in chaos, hardliners in Hanoi seize the initiative and send combat troops to the south, accelerating the insurgency. Fearing Saigon’s collapse, President Johnson escalates America’s military commitment, authorizing sustained bombing of the north and deploying ground troops in the south.

  • Riding the Tiger (1961-1963): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Riding the Tiger (1961-1963)

    S1 E2 - 1h 26m

    President Kennedy inspires idealistic young Americans to serve their country and wrestles with how deeply to get involved in South Vietnam. As the increasingly autocratic Diem regime faces a growing communist insurgency and widespread Buddhist protests, a grave political crisis unfolds.

  • Déjà Vu (1858-1961): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Déjà Vu (1858-1961)

    S1 E1 - 1h 25m

    After a long and brutal war, Vietnamese revolutionaries led by Ho Chi Minh end nearly a century of French colonial occupation. With the Cold War intensifying, Vietnam is divided in two at Geneva. Communists in the north aim to reunify the country, while America supports Ngo Dinh Diem's untested regime in the south.

Extras + Features

  • The Diaspora: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Diaspora

    S1 E10 - 50s

    A Vietnamese-American comments on being displaced from his country, and his desire to go back there to live out the last years of his life.

  • Some Peace: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Some Peace

    S1 E10 - 2m 33s

    Seeking reconciliation and peace, veterans from Vietnam and the United States meet in Vietnam years after the war.

  • Episode Ten | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode Ten | Preview

    S1 E10 - 30s

    In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

  • Episode Nine | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode Nine | Preview

    S1 E9 - 30s

    In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

  • Quang Ngai: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Quang Ngai

    S1 E8 - 1m 15s

    A GI talks about the danger of landmines and the courage it took just to walk in Vietnam.

  • Episode Eight | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode Eight | Preview

    S1 E8 - 30s

    In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

  • Men Like This: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Men Like This

    S1 E7 - 1m 14s

    A decorated Army veteran recalls the courage and loyalty he observed from young men serving in the Vietnam War.

  • Protests in Chicago, 1968: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Protests in Chicago, 1968

    S1 E7 - 1m 54s

    A journalist describes the scene of a violent clash between police and student protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

  • Moratorium Protests, 1969: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Moratorium Protests, 1969

    S1 E7 - 1m 44s

    On November 15, 1969, half a million demonstrators turned out in Washington, D.C., to protest the war.

  • Episode Seven | Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode Seven | Preview

    S1 E7 - 30s

    In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never-before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

  • LBJ Criticizes the Media: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    LBJ Criticizes the Media

    S1 E6 - 1m 25s

    In a taped conversation between President Johnson and Jack Horner of the Washington Star, the president criticizes the media.

Schedule

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