South Vietnamese uprising 1965
Description of film
The clip starts with an impressive street protest with banners and hundreds, possibly thousands, of young people taking part. They are mostly young students. South Vietnamese troops and police face them. We see further shots of the protesters in very large numbers. Troops then move in using sticks and tear gas. We see several protesters covered in blood. Next we see a sit down protest led by Buddhist monks. The final scenes of the clip show the South Vietnam leader Diem along with American officials.
Since the 19th century France had ruled Vietnam. During the Second World War Japan had taken over Vietnam. At the end of the war the French wanted to rule Vietnam but Ho Chi Minh, who had led the resistance against the Japanese during the war, opposed this. In an underground war Ho (supported by Communist China and the USSR) eventually forced the French (supported by the USA) out in 1954. North Vietnam then became communist. South Vietnam was not communist, and was propped up by American money and troops. However, the government was corrupt and unpopular. Ho Chi Minh supported rebels in the south and by the early 1960s there was a virtual civil war in Vietnam.
Interesting or important points about the film
This film gives us a pretty clear impression of the state of public opinion towards the South Vietnam government in 1965. Even the government's American allies were concerned at corruption in the government but US Secretary of State Dulles admitted that the US government had no other allies to work with.