In the documentary, after the evacuation had formally begun, it became a matter of chance for the South Vietnamese to make it safely out of the country. Congressional gridlock, a ticking clock, and an inexplicably confident U.S. Ambassador became the obstacles the South Vietnamese people had to overcome to make it safely to America. Out of those hardships, a number of heroic Americans and South Vietnamese soldiers stepped up, took their future in their own hands, and underwent unsanctioned and makeshift extraction operations in an attempt to save as many civilian lives as possible. Similar to Richard Pena's point of view, it became a matter of the lives of these civilians, how many would be effected by the dominance of North Vietnam, and what (if anything) was possible to help the South Vietnam (with the little amount of supplies and materials they had). In the end, it is those saved lives that become the one gleaming ray of hope and happiness to come out of the Vietnam War.
I found this documentary to be exciting, frustrating, triumphant, and fascinating, simultaneously. I also think the stories told in this film are a great supplement to Richard Pena's in "Last Plane Out of Saigon". While "Last Plane Out of Saigon" chronicles the end of formal U.S. involvement, there was a lot that happened after, and so by seeing "Last Days in Vietnam", you see that entire timeline played out. This documentary also does a good job of summarizing the feelings of the Vietnam War, as well as the repercussions it had on the country. I strongly recommend seeing it, if you get a chance. The link to the documentary website is below if you would like to learn more about it.
Written by Sara Gordon