Are You Watching Ken Burns Vietnam Documentary
My job here on THinc. is super clear. I do one thing. Well two things. Ok, so really three things. NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!!
I’ll come in again.
I love telling you guys about truly fantastic movies. Most movie review sites try and tell you about everything and tell you how good or bad those everythings are. Right? “Sharknado 27 is rated as 1.4 out of 10. Hear why this film needs more Tuna, Eels and less explosions!” No. No thank you. This site is a hobby of mine. (A fairly enabling hobby of many of my own personal addictions, but whatever, you aren’t my shrink… deal with it.) And because it’s a hobby, I get to pick what I like talking about. And I only talk about things that I would recommend to my best friends. (And truth be told, you guys probably are my best friends, which, is a sad commentary on like a billion different levels.)
Seriously. I do point my “real life friends” here regularly when the conversation turns to movies. (One of my 2017 resolutions has been to actually talk to my friends about said movies and not to just stop the conversation and text them links. But I digress.) Anyway.
I’m digressing already, but I’m going to digress this digression subroutine one more level. The other day someone commented that I blather on and on and I should just get to the point about the movie. (Which, that person would just devolve into howling fantods if she saw this post! hahah.) Anyway, I cheerfully responded that this was my favorite comment of the month. So, please, be on notice that I don’t want to be your Wikipedia entry for [insert movie title here]. I want to talk with you about [said movie]. So yeah, while I do like to go over how good the movie is and what it generally covers so we are on the same page, I don’t really do reviews here. I do movie discussions.
Wait, why was I here again? Oh oh. RIGHT! Ken Burns!
I was a bit of an amateur history buff in high school and college. I just adore history. Stories of humanity’s past? That is just enthralling to me. (The Dollop anyone? Yeah. Talk about my mental paradise. But not for the faint of heart.) World War I and II? Wow. The Crusades anyone? But when I was in high school, and even middle school I would unicycle over to the library and get 15 to 20 books on Vietnam and power through them over a weekend. Regularly. And when my local library was tapped I would inner-library loan more books. And when the library system at large was tapped, I would contact the Library of Congress directly to get books on the topic.
Digression #27 alert. Which, I was talking with someone about recently. And they made fun of me for my fanatical love for the inner-library loan system. And I just didn’t get what they were making fun of me for. And then I realized that most people don’t ever need more books than what are in your cute local library. It was like an epiphany exploded in my head. Shrapnel everywhere. AH! Generally a library is “good enough”. Oh. Yeah, that’s stupid was my thought. I didn’t say it out loud… but I finally understood why. Which, was nice.
Regardless, I adored studying stories, biographies, and details about Vietnam that the average person doesn’t generally care about. Like for example, the tunnel rats? I have probably read no less than 10 different biographies just about American Tunnel Rats that were challenged with removing mines and mapping the tunnels that we had discovered. Helicopter pilot biographies and histories of the Huey pilots of Vietnam? 50? Countless. I was so enamored with these guys that I went and took the ASVAB just to see if I could get into the Army as a helicopter pilot. (Oh, I could have, but they wouldn’t promise it to me and I figured I’d suck as an enlisted schelp.) Regardless, my point is, I loved to read about the Vietnam conflict.
But in the first episode alone of Ken Burns’ new Vietnam documentary I learned maybe five different things I had never heard of. The larger historical context? The colonial complications. The French troubles and the pedantic way in which they looked down on the Vietnamese? I learned so many key things in just the first thirty minutes alone.
Oh, and did I mention that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were involved?
So, yeah… 100%. This is a must view in my book. I’m not even going to review this documentary because I’d break the sliders by moving them all too far to the right. But hey, even if history isn’t your thing, do me a favor and give it a shot. I think they have released 4 episodes so far? They continue to come out regularly. And heck, just click right here and you can watch online right now. I’ll even buy you a coffee if you watch it*.
* – no, I actually won’t buy you a coffee. I’m just doing what I have to, telling you whatever lies you need to hear in order to actually go watch it.