The history of Vietnam is rich with heroic events, and a notable example is the victory at Dien Bien Phu. Through Vietnamese movies, one can gain a deeper understanding of the country, its people, and the significant moments in Vietnamese history. Let’s explore 5 movies about Dien Bien Phu, where you can immerse yourself in the intensity of the battle and understand the meaning of the Dien Bien Phu victory to Vietnamese people.
1. Chien Thang Dien Bien Phu (1964) - one of the oldest movies about Dien Bien Phu
The documentary film "Chien Thang Dien Bien Phu" is one of the oldest movies about Dien Bien Phu that was created during the heroic days of the nation. It not only marks a milestone in the history of Vietnamese cinema but also holds immense documentary value for the history of Vietnam. In this documentary, the crew followed the footsteps of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians to capture authentic images of the battle days. Those include scenes depicting the extensive network of Vietnam's military surrounding the French stronghold at Dien Bien Phu, or the moments when French forces raised the white flag in surrender.
The significance of the Dien Bien Phu victory extends beyond its documentary value. It also carries profound ideological value, evident in the commentary throughout the documentary. The wonderful storytelling has depicted many great scenes, such as when President Ho Chi Minh visited the troops before the campaign commenced, soldiers hauling artillery over mountains, civilians constructing transportation routes, or when they read motivation letters from the President before going into battle. All of these scenes surpassed the boundaries of typical documentary footage, becoming unparalleled historical artifacts.
The documentary "Chien Thang Dien Bien Phu" received the Golden Lotus Award during the second Vietnam Film Festival in 1973, which was held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnamese film industry. This recognition acknowledged the documentary’s high ideological and artistic value. This Dien Bien Phu movie also successfully portrayed the determination and bravery of the Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, highlighting their unwavering spirit and united effort in achieving independence.
2. Hoa Ban Do (1994) - among the top movies about Dien Bien Phu
Hoa Ban Do is a semi-documentary Dien Bien Phu film directed by Bach Diep, first released in 1994 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory. The two main characters in the film are Phuong, a platoon leader of the main force, and Tam, a female militia who also serves as a nurse for the military.
Phuong and Tam were childhood neighbors, and they met again in the Dien Bien Phu campaign when Phuong was injured after leading the assault on Point 206. During their time at the military hospital, Tam secretly loved Phuong and wholeheartedly cared for him. Once Phuong’s wounds healed, he bid farewell to Tam in a forest full of blooming red orchids, returning to his unit. When the point was destroyed, Tam searched for Phuong, not knowing he was KIA. All that was left were the victorious Vietnamese military singing songs of triumph.
The sad love story of the two characters indirectly points to the war's atrocities, where ruthless guns spare no one's pursuit of happiness. Above all, the movie highlighted the unwavering spirit of Vietnamese people in this historic battle. Hoa Ban Do is truly unique because it doesn't overly focus on gruesome war scenes. Instead, it explores the silent moments during the war, such as scenes of the art troupe performing to boost the soldiers' spirits, the stifling atmosphere during night tunnel digging, and the love stories of the determined Vietnamese people.
3. Ky Uc Dien Bien (2004) - a must-watch movie about Dien Bien Phu
Ky Uc Dien Bien, directed by Do Minh Tuan, was one of the movies about Dien Bien Phu released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the battle victory. The story revolves around the encounter between Bernard, Bao, and May. Bernard, a French sergeant who grew disillusioned with the war and came to surrender. Bao, a Vietnamese soldier, receives orders to bring Bernard back to interrogate sergeant. Along the way, Bernard was injured during a French bombardment. They then met May, a nurse in the civilian unit. Bao asked May to accompany him to take care of Bernard. On the journey, many interesting incidents unfolded among the three characters. The love between Bao and May also blossomed during this expedition.
The movie is praised for its portrayal of the battle, captivating audiences with its interplay between the past and the present, reminiscences and hope. Ky Uc Dien Bien also depicted the battle scenes perfectly, along with the unwavering spirit of the Vietnamese people to fight for independence. That is not to mention the beauty of Dien Bien's landscape with pure white orchids and the sweet scent of ginger flowers. And so, the movie vividly portrays the frontline battlefield in stark contrast to the optimistic atmosphere of the people.
4. Dien Bien Phu - Cuoc Chien Giua Ho Va Voi (2009)
"Dien Bien Phu - Cuoc Chien Giua Ho Va Voi” is a documentary directed by French filmmaker Daniel Roussel. He dedicated 15 years to creating this film, from 1991 to 2006. Before becoming a filmmaker, Daniel Roussel was a correspondent for the French leftist newspaper L’Humanite in Vietnam from 1980 to 1986. During this period, he had extensive interactions with General Vo Nguyen Giap - a well-respected military leader and also one of the most famous Vietnamese people.
Dien Bien Phu - Cuoc Chien Giua Ho Va Voi recreates the events on the battlefield of Dien Bien Phu, where Vietnamese people bravely fought and achieved victory against the French colonial forces. It also highlights the decisive role of General Vo Nguyen Giap during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, of which he was the campaign commander. Through interviews and footage from those encounters, director Daniel Roussel crafted an authentic film that not only showcases the talent and great mind of the general but also portrays his down-to-earth and humorous characteristics.
5. Duong Len Dien Bien (2014)
"Duong Len Dien Bien," broadcast in 2014, is a television series commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory. Consisting of 25 episodes, the series narrates the story of young soldiers leaving behind their families and studies to participate in the historic Dien Bien Phu campaign. Together with them were 500 young women in support positions. Love and gunfire, blood and tears, along with the heroic spirit of a generation, are vividly depicted throughout the series, capturing the essence of the battlefield. During the filmmaking process, director Bui Tuan Dung and the film crew traveled to various regions to gather references for the movie. This attention to detail adds an extra layer of authenticity to the film, allowing viewers to truly immerse themselves in the story and connect with the characters on a deeper level.
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Besides these amazing films, there are also other movies about Dien Bien Phu, such as "La Bataille de Dien Bien Phu” by French filmmaker Jean Christophe Grelet, "Dien Bien Phu, 1992" by Pierre Schoendoerffer, and the famous American television series "Vietnam War - The Ten Thousand Day War." These movies offer deep insights into the events surrounding the Dien Bien Phu campaign from the viewpoints of different countries and directors, providing a multifaceted understanding of this significant historical event.
Understanding Vietnamese history through movies about Dien Bien Phu is an insightful way to learn about this widely-known battle. On the international stage, the battle of Dien Bien Phu has entered the annals of human history. It marks the first time a former Asian colony has triumphed over the modern forces of European power in a major military campaign.
If you want to visit the site of this legendary battle, you can come to Dien Bien on your Vietnam travel. In addition to Dien Bien, you can visit numerous other destinations in Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. All of these destinations provide breathtaking natural scenery and distinctive cultural experiences.
In these destinations, make sure to reserve your accommodation in advance. It is advisable that you opt for Vinpearl’s hotel and resort network. Vinpearl offers opulent accommodations, all-inclusive services, and a variety of appealing extras including dining options, bars, swimming pools, and recreational spaces.
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