VIETNAM STORIES is a gripping oral history video documentary made in collaboration with high school students about the Vietnam War. Eleventh grade students interview both Vietnam combat veterans who fought in the war and draft resisters who went to jail fighting against it.
The veterans give a riveting personal account of their experiences in Vietnam. They talk candidly with the students about how ill-prepared they were for the realities of combat. They share stories of the battlefield that are unromanticized and haunting, spoken straight from the heart. They also talk about the difficulties of returning home to civilian life and how, years later, the emotional scars left from the trauma of war still remain with them.
The war resisters talk about why they refused to fight in Vietnam. They describe the process of publicly turning in their draft cards and facing the consequences of imprisonment. Standing up for their beliefs, despite harsh repercussions, the resisters’ stories raise fundamental questions about the individual’s right to dissent in a democracy.
VIETNAM STORIES is a stirring testimony about the human consequences of war and underscores the importance of one generation sharing its legacy and lessons with the next.
"VIETNAM STORIES impressed me as a teacher because it was written and produced by high school students. The information in the video dispels much of the glamour of Hollywood’s portrayal of combat and violence. It deals in a straightforward manner with potentially uncomfortable, and therefore often ignored, subjects such as the meaning of manhood, the danger of passivity and crimes of silence, fear, killing, the dehumanizing of the enemy, and the difficulties of coming home after combat."
"I recommend VIETNAM STORIES for viewing by students in American History classes. It facilitates study of the Vietnam War by giving access to primary sources—the veterans themselves—and it lets students form their own views. It is educational in the real sense-—it makes you think about the impact of the war on real human beings."
"It is absolutely essential to carry both VIETNAM STORIES and STRAIGHT TALK on the shelves in the guidance office right next to the military recruitment videos. Students must have the opportunity to view other perspectives on the military and war."
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Vietnam War • American Studies • Political Science • Sociology • Peace Studies • American History • Communications • Philosophy • Politics & Government • US Foreign Policy • Politics of Peace and Conflict • Contemporary Social Movements • Social Change • Media and Contemporary Culture
AN ACT OF CONSCIENCE
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