AARP To Hold Free Vietnam War Documentary Screening

Jul 22, 2015

AARP has invited Vietnam veterans to attend the screening so they can answer questions from the audience. "We want people to share what’s meaningful for them," said Nancy Stanton, associate state director of advocacy with AARP Florida.
Credit Flickr

AARP Florida plans to hold a free screening of a documentary about the Vietnam War this Saturday at WJCT.

AARP’s Summer Movie Classics presents “Last Days In Vietnam,” which looks at the final days of the war and the stories of those who escaped.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Nancy Stanton, associate state director of advocacy with AARP Florida, and David Courtwright, history professor at the University of North Florida, talked about what people can expect when attending the screening.

“The film is set primarily in 1975, and it’s incredibly dramatic because the evacuation was delayed for such a long period of time, until the last possible minute,” Courtwright said. “As a result far fewer people escaped totalitarian, communist rule than might otherwise have been the case.”

He says the film investigates how this happened.

“I think there’s a lot of unresolved feelings kind of around this, and we were discussing earlier that we are anticipating that there might be some different kinds of viewpoints that are expressed,” Stanton said. “And we are not going to back away from it.”

The event will have an AARP listening post where people attending the screening can share their own stories about where they were during this time, or the impact of the Vietnam War in their own lives.

Stanton says they want people to share what’s meaningful for them.

“We totally want to honor whatever it is people have to say or what they’re thinking,” Stanton said. “And we just hope that people look upon it as they’ve been given an opportunity to say what’s been on their mind.”

The screening is this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Listen to the full conversation with Nancy Stanton and David Courtwright on Wednesday’s episode of the “First Coast Connect” podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Photo credit: ‘Vietnam War US Advisor - Photographer Collection: Horst Faas’ by tommy japan is used under CC BY 2.0.