Five years after the Communist victory in Southern Vietnam, a unified Vietnam is attempting to rebuild the country after nearly thirty years of war.
GVs Tanks and troops carriers through gates of Presidential Palace, Saigon, troops run forward with flags, troops march towards palace (4 shots)
GV & SV Helicopter in U.S. compound, people run on board, Marines supervising boarding and helicopter leaves (4 shots)
GV & SVs Workers digging canal (2 shots)
SV & GV Ex-prostitutes doing basket-work and in classroom (4 shots)
GV Tractor knocking down trees
GV Cultivators in new rice field
GV INTERIOR North and South Vietnamese representatives sign agreement ZOOM IN TO CU Pham Hung (South) CU Truong Chinh (North) PULL OUT TO signing ceremony
GV Raymond Barre (French Prime Minister) and Pham Van Dong meet newsmen after talks
SV Pham Van Dong down aircraft steps, greeted in Moscow, CU Le Duan PAN TO Leonid Brezhnev PAN TO Pham Van Dong, GV Guard of honour and three leaders walk across tarmac (2 shots)
GV & SV Explosions, people including children running, town burning (2 shots)
GVs & CUs Officers studying map (2 shots)
GVs Vietnamese troops advancing through jungle (2 shots)
GV People climb ladder on beached fishing boats in Thailand, refugees eating and resting (4 shots)
GV & SV Small boat beside merchant vessel, crowded with refugees (3 shots)
GV & CU Chinese troops in action on Vietnamese border (4 shots)
SVs & CU Vietnamese troops and vehicles loaded with weapons along road, GV PAN troops pass in truck, small boy watches (3 shots)
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Background: Five years after the Communist victory in Southern Vietnam, a unified Vietnam is attempting to rebuild the country after nearly thirty years of war. The official Vietnamese news agency recently released a pamphlet surveying the past five years. Hunger, prostitution, black marketeering, robbery and corruption are still features of urban life, it said. But these things are no longer flagrant, and though food is still a problem, the pamphlet went on, nobody is dying of hunger. Throughout Vietnam, the signs of wars past, present and perhaps future are still very much is evidence.
SYNOPSIS: The city once called Saigon is now named Ho Chi Minh City. On 30th April, 1975, forces that drew their inspiration from the Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh took complete control of it after defeating the forces of the South.
The Americans who backed the South had withdrawn their combat troops two years earlier. Now they sent helicopters and a force of marines to pull out the remaining citizens -- mostly diplomats and their families. They also took some leading Vietnamese who had worked with them.
It was time for reconstruction. Canals were dug in the derelict Mekong Delta, so that salt water could be drained away and replaced with fresh, and rice could be cultivated again.
These woman had made their livings as prostitutes. The new regime set up a school to turn them into what it called "useful women for the building of the socialist society".
A priority of the Provisional Revolutionary Government was to get people back to the land. People were encouraged, or put under pressure, to help open up new areas for food production.
Leaders from the north and south officially made the formerly partitioned Vietnam a united, independent country.
The struggling economy now needed resources for industrial development. Prime Minister Pham Van Dong went to Paris in April 1977 for talks with French Prime Minister Barre.
Gradually, Vietnam began to move closer to the Soviet Union. And in November, 1978, its Communist Party leader, Le Duan, and the Prime Minister paid a state visit to Moscow, and later Vietnam joined COMECON.
Troubled at the border with Kampuchea (then Cambodia) flared up in early 1978. The Vietnamese released this film saying the Kampucheans struck at night without warning. Later the Vietnamese backed a group that overthrew the regime of Pol Pot. They continue to fight the Khmer Rouge and back the Phnom Penh government of Heng Samrin.
The Vietnamese government was widely criticised in 1979 when thousands of people -- ethnic Chinese, and many educated and middle-class people, took to the sea in any boat they could acquire. They said they felt they had no future in Communist Vietnam. Their plight drew worldwide interest when they found that few countries wanted them and many found conditions in refugee camps intolerable. Since then, stringent measures by the Vietnamese government have stemmed the flow of refugees.
Tensions with the Chinese erupted into open hostilities after China's troops entered Vietnam in what it called retaliation for repeated Vietnamese incursions. and five years after the end of the United States, the Hanoi Government still required well equipped and alert military forces.