A Disrespectful Loyalty (May 1970 - March 1973)

Series 1 - Episode 9 A Disrespectful Loyalty (May 1970 - March 1973)



DOCUMENTARY In the final two episodes of this brilliant series, an unnecessary war gradually ends in a shabby shambles. Nixon withdraws US troops in a process he calls “Vietnamisation”, ie letting the Vietnamese kill each other, while still funding the South’s forces. The leaking of the Pentagon Papers reveals presidential deception over decades; but eventually the last US personnel abandon Saigon in 1975 and the North Vietnamese roll in.

Then come the years of boat people, collectivisation and “doi moi” pragmatism in Vietnam. The US struggles to come to terms with its actions: the building of a huge memorial in Washington causes mixed but intense emotions. All credit to the film-makers for their choice of eloquent interviewees on all sides.


South Vietnamese forces fighting on their own in Laos suffer a terrible defeat, while a re-elected President Nixon announces Hanoi has agreed to a peace deal.

Cast & Crew

Director Ken Burns
Director Lynn Novick
Producer Lynn Novick
Producer Ken Burns
Producer Sarah Botstein