“Last Days in Vietnam” is only the fourth American Experience documentary to be nominated for an Oscar. So, what made this release so different from the rest? Well, it might be the first time I’ve seen the executive orders for the evacuation given equal time on film. A lot of people remember the footage of people hanging from helicopters, but there was more to it. A lot of those South Vietnamese were doomed to die in the new regime.
Rory Kennedy stays out of it, as Kennedy keeps the focus on the actions of the participants. The Ford Administration placed the rules very clear on the last US presence in the country. You will risk treason, if you help any South Vietnamese fly out of the country. The problem with that is, it’s how the film opens. The lack of back story and the desire to force itself on viewers probably cost it the Oscar. That and Hollywood’s love affair with Edward Snowden.
The Blu-Ray comes with both cuts of the film. However, I slightly prefer the extended version that was aired on TV. While it had more computer models and archive footage, I felt the focus was tighter. The A/V Quality is sharp for a documentary in glorious 1080p HD. If you’re a history buff, it’s worth a purchase.
Release Date: 04/28/15