Wisconsin Public Television and PBS have long been a home for the best documentary films on series like P.O.V., Independent Lens, Frontline and, here in our state, Director’s Cut. Across the past decade, WPT has also told the stories of our veterans through our award-winning War Stories programs and specials like Wounded Warriors and has supported veterans and their families through community engagement projects, including the ongoing Veterans Coming Home initiative.
That work converges this spring with the premiere of American Experience‘s groundbreaking Last Days in Vietnam.
In April 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind. Last Days in Vietnam tells the firsthand stories of the bravery, sacrifice and tragedy of those final moments of the war.
The film, directed by Rory Kennedy, premieres on WPT April 28 and has already been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
To make sure public television viewers had a chance to see the film before the award ceremony Feb. 22, PBS and WPT streamed the full documentary online for three days – Feb. 5 – 7.