Sad Song of Yellow Skin

A film about the people of Saigon told through the experiences of 3 young American journalists who, in 1970, explored the consequences of war and of the American presence in Vietnam. It is not a film about the Vietnam War, but about the people who lived on the fringe of battle. The views of the city are arresting, but away from the shrines and the open-air markets lies another city, swollen with refugees and war orphans, where every inch of habitable space is coveted.

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Michael Rubbo
Michael Rubbo
Michael Rubbo
Tom Daly
Martin Duckworth
Pierre Letarte
Pierre Letarte
Torben Schioler
Michael Rubbo
sound editing
Les Halman
George Croll
Michel Descombes


  • mekongjack

    “I have been showing this incredible film for about 40 years. I have shown this to high school students and then later on to Penn State students in world history classes and then later on in my Vietnam History course. It is a film of incredible metaphors, shock and all with the interaction with the shoeshine boy (low camera angle)with the towering G.I. reneging on the deal. "Keep your money!" by the Vietnamese shoeshine kid. The unwritten message was, "I don't want your money and don't come back!" In many ways this film is a microcosm of Vietnamese history, a small country caught between major powers, prostituted themselves, but still proud and standing independent and fighting back against foreigners, whether they be Chinese, French, Japanese or Americans. Unlike some of the foreign powers before us, a few Americans with an old fashion missionary zeal want to help and save Vietnamese. As Dick Hughes said, we could only reach a certain level of understanding and trust, cross-culturally. It was very hard to cross that great divide! Dick Hughes was one of those who tried and came close and later on in life was appreciated by the shoeshine boys whom he took in. Back in the late Sixties, many of us naive Americans went tho Asia, trying to understand it at a deeper human level, rather than in war. In my case I was in the U.S. Peace Corps, others joined I.V.S. ( a non-governmental volunteer organization), as well as many other great volunteer non-profit groups. When you live at the lifestyle and economically of the locals, you get to appreciate the daily struggles of people you work with. Jack Miller” — mekongjack, 17 Mar 2012

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