Friday, March 16, 2012

The History Channel was cheated........

In their documentary Vietnam in HD they try to capitalize on their success of their excellent series World War II in HD Color. It's a natural follow up to a proven formula, and I applaud them for it. However, in their rush to market the producers cheated. And here's how they did it. At least the things that I know about. There may be more.

In their description of Vietnam in HD they claim that you can: "Experience the sights, the sounds and the stories of the Vietnam War as it has never before been seen."

I know enough about the Vietnam War to have no doubts about the sights and the stories. However it's the sounds that are not what they seem.

In my post below, I've include a link to an interview that Strombo did with Scott Kesterton back in March of 2009. Scott was on Strombo's show to promote his excellent movie At War which was as I recall set for release in the summer of that year.

Two weeks later Scott was back in Afghanistan to document President Obama's inplementation of the surge that was recommended and set in motion by former President George W Bush. Murphy's law being what it is Scott's film At War got tangled up in red tape and never made it past private showings.

Scott had showed it privately at various military bases in America to Afghan War Veterans. He made a point of coming to Canada to show it at military bases where The PPCLI hang their helmets.

To almost all who saw it, veterans, civilians, people of all political stripes, this film was the most truly raw and unbiased film they had ever seen about what war means and what it does to the human spirit. A great many very hardened war veterans were reduced to tears: speechless. That's how powerful this film was and is.

Now we come to the present day, and the reason I'm blogging again. You see, I have all of Scott's You Tube clips of his embed with Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon, "The Red Devils" from Edmonton Alberta.

I've watched them more times than I can count. What's more, I've listened to them more times than I can count.

And that's how I discovered that the History Channel was cheated. Many of the sounds in Vietnam in HD are taken directly from that Scott Kesterson footage filmed in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2006. Not in Vietnam in th 1960's.

They are the sounds of Canadian Soldiers in combat in another war in another time. This might not seem like a big deal, but some of these Soldiers may have since been wounded or are among The Fallen. To have their voices cavalierly inserted in to a series that purports to capture the sounds of the Vietnam War as never before is not only an insult to the Soldiers involved but to Vietnam Veterans themselves.

War is hell. We all know that. But when the History Channel uses a cheap Michael Moore mockumentary trick it is trivializing the most devasting actions that human beings can engage in.

I can supply proof. In Episode 3 At 32:10-32:15 you hear “My left my left” (again), and “Okay let’s go” which is from Scott Kesterson's footage here at 0:36.

I have more examples but I've made my point I think. Who knows if the producers of Vietnam in HD have include the sounds and voices form American Soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are inserted as well. And if so how many of those are voices of The Fallen.

If you care about Soldiers and Veterans please let The History Channel know how you feel.

1 comment:

allen said...

Dude, I thought you'd never post again and given up like so many others. Thanks for the link to the strombo interview. What happened to the at war mvie, do you know