AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: My Lai
Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Credit: Ron Haberle; courtesy of National Archives
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"My Lai" - What drove a company of American soldiers—ordinary young men deployed to liberate a small foreign nation from an oppressive neighbor—to murder more than 300 unarmed Vietnamese civilians? Were they “just following orders,” as some later declared? Or, as others argued, did they break under the pressure of a misguided military strategy that measured victory by body count?
Today, as the United States once again finds itself questioning the morality of actions taken in the name of war, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Barak Goodman (“The Lobotomist,” “Scottsboro: An American Tragedy”) focuses his lens on the 1968 My Lai massacre, its subsequent cover-up and the heroic efforts of the soldiers who broke rank to halt the atrocities.
“My Lai” draws upon eyewitness accounts of Vietnamese survivors and men of the Charlie Company 11th Infantry Brigade and recently discovered audio recordings from the Peers Inquiry to recount one of the darkest chapters of the Vietnam War.
Photographic Evidence of the Massacre at My Lai
This photo gallery showcases a selection of Ron Haeberle's images from the My Lai Massacre as they were used in the Peers investigation. Many of the images are violent and graphic in nature.
This episode originally aired in 2010.
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