Documentary series marks Reunification Day

The Military Cinema Studio produced a new documentary celebrating the nation's unification in 1975.

Colonel Le Thi directed the documentary, 30/4 – Ngay Thong Nhat (April 30 - Reunification Day). It consists of two episodes, Dan Toc Vietnam Vuot Qua Gian Kho (Vietnamese People Overcome Hardships) and Dat Nuoc Thong Nhat (Reunified Country). Thi based the series on a screenplay by Colonel Pham Minh Loi that analysed global security at the time and offered lessons on battle strategies. Loi also brought in the opinions of politicians, historians and overseas Vietnamese.

"The documentary reflects on the country's renovation and the fates of people on all sides who witnessed that historic day," Thi said.

The documentary offers a fresh look on the war – "a clearer vision on history" – said Major general Nguyen Phuong Dien of the General Politics Department.

The studio has already made three documentaries on the topic, but this one offers a fresh look at the end of the war.

"Various issues on the war were approached objectively and from various angles," he said.

The documentary begins with modern-day shots of Nhieu Loc, Thi Nghe Canal and other landmarks in HCM City. Later on, former Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky admits in a present-day interview that, in fact, both sides wanted to reunify the people.

"Our people are a single body," Vietnam Republic General Nguyen Huu Hanh, a former mayor of Sai Gon, recalled in the documentary.

Scenes on the 1963 murders of Sai Gon leaders Ngo Dinh Diem and Ngo Dinh Nhu end with images of two gravestones, implying that the "republic" died when they did, Thi said.

The documentary also explores issues of today, like Vietnam's mission to protect its sovereignty, Thi said. Researcher Nguyen Dinh Dau shows in an interview that he owns 2,000 ancient maps, 200 of which say the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes belonged to Vietnam.

Thi also made the documentaries Hanoi Ban Hung Ca (Hanoi-Heroic Song), Duong Truong Son (Truong Son Trail) and Duong Mon Tren Bien Dong (Secret Route on the East Sea).

Hanoi Ban Hung Ca (Hanoi-Heroic Song) examines the 12-day US bomb strike in Hanoi, which won first prize at a socialist military film festival in Vetprem, Hungrary in 1975 and the Golden Lotus Prize at the Vietnam Film Festival in the same year. 

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