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"Vice" documentary about Vietnam War reenactment


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shrapneldude

Found this video while searching for some original footage of Marines in Vietnam and thought it'd probably generate some interesting conversation amongst the forum's reenacting crowd.

For those not familiar with "Vice" productions, beware that the 'host' of the documentary is extremely smug and hipstery. Also, some foul language for the under 18 crowd, but still might be worth a watch for some of you.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoGsVDRb7GM

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These folks are why I stopped doing "battle reenactments" and just stick to public history/timeline events.

 

Jeff

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shrapneldude

Not having ever been exposed, I'm just going to assume that the average Vietnam war reenactment doesn't involve shooting unarmed prisoners. :D

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I liked the premise, I think he did a good job as the reporter. The intercutting with real footage helped set the scenes. I didn't watch to the end but if it involved shooting unarmed prisoners then that would need to be better explained. Some of the Americans portrayed looked and acted really stupid. The best part about being the VC/NVA in this scenario is following the rules while "killing" all these fat toads. I'd like to see more of this done by some of the guys here who are inclined toward the reporting aspect of the war. I know the kid had the advantage of modern video gear but I felt it better complimented his efforts.

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Shrapneldude, I think you hit the nail on the head with the smug hipster comment. The "reporter" sure has some odd facts about Vietnam. As for the executions and the way they were acting with the I don't see any prisoners line, I think these guys watch to many movies. The veterans in the group should know better.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought the "combat correspondent" did a pretty good job actually. He tried to keep "in persona" & made some valid points from a civilian perspective of the war. He actually did a better job than some of the reenactors!

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I just couldn't get pas the fact that everyone wants to be the LRRP and SF types. I didn't see one normal US 'leg' in the bunch. Typical "I gotta be the high speed spec ops type" re-enactors...

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I just couldn't get pas the fact that everyone wants to be the LRRP and SF types. I didn't see one normal US 'leg' in the bunch. Typical "I gotta be the high speed spec ops type" re-enactors...

Isn't that true of most reenactors though?

Nobody is doing 1st Logistical Command or 44th Medical Brigade to my knowledge, yet these "REMF" types did some pretty essential work too.

Now I'm getting a bit too old to really look "Infantry" I have changed my role to cranky CSM /Company SGT as the situation requires. I try to stay clear of even standing too close to a ruck in case someone expects me to put it on!!!

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Here is a vid we made with our re-enactmentgroup 1/7 cavalry a few years ago with an original period camera. It is a compilation of 2 or 3 events; I may have posted the link on the forum before. Unfortunately there is no sound, but enjoy nontheless! ^_^

 

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That.s a pretty good effort! Lots of young faces & relaxed footage help to capture the feel of a real 8mm home flick.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I have just watched the "Vice" film and it shows everything bad about the hobby and how people perceive it. As someone said these people have been doing their research by watching "Rambo", absolutely bloody awful! I`m sure if a combat Vet watched this rubbish they would be horrified. Re-enactors always walk a fine line and this went way over it.

My Dad , now 87, is a combat vet from WW2 so he has witnessed war first hand. He has attended many Military shows in the UK and in Europe ,he owned a WW2 jeep. He was always uncomfortable with groups displaying WW2 but when they re-enacted it his views are not printable. He was offended!

The idea of the hobby is to remember past conflicts, the men and women who fought in them and those that did not come home, not to belittle their sacrifice by depicting it badly and irresponsibly. I doubt the men and women whose names are on the Wall in Washington DC would appreciate it nor would their families.

This group is not alone in depicting conflicts badly there are unfortunately many others, worldwide, who seem to completely lose sight of what the hobby is about. The trouble is the public and vets see the bad re-enacting groups and all the good work done by responsible groups is ruined.

Organisers of shows should be more selective who they let attend their shows and this would weed out the poor quality groups. The hobby does not need them.

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Hi, I have just watched the "Vice" film and it shows everything bad about the hobby and how people perceive it. As someone said these people have been doing their research by watching "Rambo", absolutely bloody awful! I`m sure if a combat Vet watched this rubbish they would be horrified. Re-enactors always walk a fine line and this went way over it.

My Dad , now 87, is a combat vet from WW2 so he has witnessed war first hand. He has attended many Military shows in the UK and in Europe ,he owned a WW2 jeep. He was always uncomfortable with groups displaying WW2 but when they re-enacted it his views are not printable. He was offended!

The idea of the hobby is to remember past conflicts, the men and women who fought in them and those that did not come home, not to belittle their sacrifice by depicting it badly and irresponsibly. I doubt the men and women whose names are on the Wall in Washington DC would appreciate it nor would their families.

This group is not alone in depicting conflicts badly there are unfortunately many others, worldwide, who seem to completely lose sight of what the hobby is about. The trouble is the public and vets see the bad re-enacting groups and all the good work done by responsible groups is ruined.

Organisers of shows should be more selective who they let attend their shows and this would weed out the poor quality groups. The hobby does not need them.

You make some very good points but the opposite can be just as true. The last event I went to with reenactors relied on them heavily to make the engine run on the B~25 all the more realistic. They may not have been absolutely accurate to the aging veteran's eye but their efforts truly enhanced the displays. We are many generations removed from that conflict and accuracy has become tough to maintain but I'll give credit to the guys who spend the money and time to make an effort.

In the case of this video, like is being posted about a particular movie on a SEAL mission, it's only a movie. It might be horrible but maybe the director will do better next time by writing a script and adhering to it instead of just walking along like it's some reality show.

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Hi, I agree that most re-enacting groups are great, but it is the bad ones that seem to get in the papers and have documentaries made about them and vets are offended, not all but many are, especially if its depicted badly. Remember that US, British and European troops are dying and being maimed in Afganistan so there are vets of all ages from 18 to 90 years old who could see this film and would find it offensive.

 

I am all for people trying to depict a period in History as long as they go some way to getting it right. With the amount of information available in 2013 there is no excuse and just because people were not around when the conflict took place it does not excuse them from getting it wrong. Weather they are depicting 1865 or 1965 re-enactors have a responsiblity to past generations to go some way to depicting the time period as accurately as possible. Most Groups I have seen in the UK and Europe seem to make the effort and I believe the standard is high. The bad groups are normally short-lived but while they are attending shows they are causing damage to the hobby, give the public a misleading view of the period and giving a misleading view of what the hobby is about. As mentioned before, show organisers should be more picky who they let attend their shows.

 

Seen by someone with no idea about re-enacting the film would give a very bad impression. Going by this film he would make Bird watching look bad! Next time? I bloody well hope not!

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No matter how one feels, there WILL be a next time so a critique vs condemnation might make the next one better, at least with this fellow if critiques are constructively posted by the viewers. I remember the resounding condemnation by fellow Viet vets of the movie; "Apocalypse Now" though my view of that movie, "Catch~22", "MASH" and so many others was and remains as that of a medic who would prefer to be out of business, that these movies spoke in an abstract way to the insanity of war. In the simplist way, this video isn't much different though the guy making it probably had different intentions.

I have also seen other amateur military webcasts that are too unrealistic but seemed to be just a bunch of guys trying to show off their gear by telling the story. The unfortunate part is that, as is pointed out, too many people believe what they see and read. Which brings me to an even more insulting, professionally produced and released for commercial consumption piece of trash; "Bat~21". While we're skewering this kid for something amateurish for which he received no money let's take apart this piece of garbage foisted on us by Hollywood that is "Based on actual events".

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I read VICE all the time .

 

its the funny stuff they love .

 

They have a do and dont book ..look it up .

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The one thing that sticks out for me is that no member of the press back then (much less now) would be cursing every other word while reporting.

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whats wrong with "bat 21"?

As is being pointed out here, this is a bad video. In the case of "Bat~21" and other similar movies "based on fact" the basis in fact is lost after the main title has been shown except they have a bigger budget and some who may wonder what makes it a bad movie. What makes it a bad movie is the insensitivity of Hollywood in the portrayal of the death of the helicopter crew. That particular scenne contributed nothing to the movie except to further sensationalize the final rescue itself.

And the final movie rescue would have been far better if the actual use of the SEALs had been incorporated. But most telling is the abject lack of endorsement by LtCol Hambleton for this movie, not because of his personal humility but because the movie was just barely "based on fact".

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