Ken Burns’s New Documentary “The Vietnam War”
- On September 19, 2017
- In Vietnam in Brief
Ken Burns’ new documentary exposes what we don’t know about the Vietnam War.
Burns says he began thinking about revisiting the Vietnam War decades ago, but decided the national psyche wasn’t ready for it. A previous major PBS series on the conflict in 1983, based on a celebrated book by veteran Vietnam correspondent Stanley Karnow suggesting that the war was less than honorable, provoked a loud right-wing backlash. So he decided to wait.
Now, Burns says, it’s time to talk—and get over it. “With knowledge comes healing,” he told Vanity Fair. “The seeds of disunion we experience today, the polarization, the lack of civil discourse all had their seeds in Vietnam,” Burns told The New York Times. “I can’t imagine a better way to help pull out some of the fuel rods that create this radioactive atmosphere than to talk about Vietnam in a calm way.”