New in Theaters: ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ Revisits the End of a Mistake

South Vietnamese try to get on one of the last American choppers out of Saigon, 1975 (American Experience Films / Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)
South Vietnamese try to get on one of the last American choppers out of Saigon, 1975 (American Experience Films / Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

No wars end gracefully; some end more tragically than others. That truism is elegantly dramatized in the wrenching documentary Last Days in Vietnam, which opens tomorrow in limited release.

My review is at Film Racket:

The stark simplicity of Rory Kennedy’s masterful and Oscar-worthy Last Days in Vietnam stands in contrast to the drama of this complex and little discussed historical moment. When modern wars end, they are normally summed up in terms of strategies and battles, of winners and losers, how they impacted the great game of geopolitical gamesmanship. Except in the cases of spectacular events like the firebombing of Axis cities during World War II, the fates of civilians are rarely discussed. The Vietnam War isn’t much different. One of the factors that makes Kennedy’s film stand out is how it refuses to look away from one “burning question” about the end of the war: “Who goes … and who gets left behind?”…

You can see the trailer here:

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