The Vietnam War

Country: France (2018)

Duration: 10 episodes

Directors: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick


The Vietnam War is a new documentary epic from master storyteller Ken Burns who takes on the difficult, but well-trodden, subject of the Vietnam War and manages to break a lot of new ground.

This is one of the most intelligent and thorough historical accounts of the conflict I have seen. Burns and his co-director, Lynn Novick, explore the war from all kinds of disparate angles, from communist to soldier to politician to protestor, that they successfully weave together in one unified and poetic narrative. The Vietnam war lends itself easily to magnificent visuals and these are certainly put to good use in this series, but Burns and Novick also zoom in closer on the ordinary individuals helplessly caught up in that time of grand ideological battles between East and West.

From communist to soldier to politician to protestor…

The series is a huge time investment. It is ten episodes long. However, it doesn’t at all seem like it should have been shortened in any way, it is such an in depth and complete analysis of one of the defining events of the twentieth century. Full of important moral lessons and philosophical observations, it is time very well spent.

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