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:: Spotlight :: Vietnam spotlighted in television documentaries on the History Channel

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The pay-TV History Channel is providing a special look at Australians at war in Vietnam, with a number of documentaries being screened during the month of August.

The landmark documentary ‘The Battle of Long Tan’ is a commissioned documentary by Foxtel and it will air almost 40 years after the battle occurred in Vietnam. It will go to air Wednesday, August 16 at 8.30pm.

In addition there is a screening of ‘Vietnam’ - starring Nicole Kidman, Barry Otto and John Polson, which hasn’t been seen on Australian TV since the 90’s

And then there is ‘Letters Home From Vietnam’ - where actors such as Tom Berenger, Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Kathleen Turner and Robin Williams read these letters off camera.

It’s very worthwhile viewing of an important period in Australia's history.

Further details on each programme:

World Premiere Wednesday, August 16 at 8.30pm

This documentary reveals the heroic deeds of a group of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who rewrote the military manual and 40 years on, place a new glow on the ANZAC legend and public perceptions of our role in the Vietnam War.

The Battle of Long Tan saw a contingent of some 108 soldiers; most of them conscripts barely out of their teens hold off and ultimately defeat an enemy force of more than 2,500 battle-hardened Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops.

Premieres, Sunday, August 6 at 8.30pm and continues on Monday, August 7, Sunday, August 13 and Monday, August 14 at 8.30pm

Kennedy Miller’s acclaimed Australian mini-series featuring an all-star cast headed by Nicole Kidman in her 1988 AFI-award winning role as Megan Goddard. A powerful drama and re-enactment of the bitterly controversial issue of Australia’s involvement in what was perceived as an American war. This mini-series, which also stars Barry Otto, John Polson and Mark Lee, was last seen on Australian television over 15 years ago.

Wednesday, August 23 at 8.30pm

A premiere documentary examining Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House as it struggles with the country’s involvement in the ill-fated Vietnam War. It charts the slow disintegration of his presidency as recorded by Johnson himself in his Oval Office and reflects on the deception, manipulation and fear felt by many Americans during this era.

Tuesday, August 8 at 7.30pm

This premiere documentary features actual letters from men and women who served in south-east Asia and tells the real story of the American experience in Vietnam. Set to newsreel footage (some never before seen) and veterans’ home movies, the letters are read off-camera by some of today’s finest actors, including Tom Berenger, Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Kathleen Turner and Robin Williams.

1. a much younger Nicole Kidman, and other cast members, from “Vietnam”
2. scene from “The Battle Of Long Tan”