Interview with Neil Davis for In the eye of a storm - Sydney Film 3

Place Asia: Vietnam
Accession Number F10573
Collection type Film
Measurement 10 min 40 sec
Object type Interview
Physical description 16mm/colour (Eastman)/sound
Maker Davis, Neil Brian
Bradbury, David
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1978
Access Open
Conflict Period 1970-1979
Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Neil Davis, as a cameraman and war correspondent, on the part fate plays in a war. He felt his obligation as a cameraman and correspondent was to bring truth to the people. The television coverage of the war left a lot to be desired however it did show for the first time the ugly reality the war. Davis' 11-year stay in Indo China substantiates his personal view of the war being the most significant event since the Second World War. Davis also made many close friendships there. Bradbury asks were there any elements of racism with the American troops. Davis answers that the Americans did not really understand the Vietnamese because had not been indoctrinated enough. They did not come in contact with the ordinary Vietnamese but rather the people who made money from the American presence. They did not really meet the ARVN because the Vietnamese fought their own war. American media coverage focused on the Americans, unlike Davis', which mainly covered the Vietnamese. The war in a broad sense was communism versus capitalism but also could be seen as an episode where people were emerging from feudalism and gaining their independence and freedom. Davis tried to stay neutral with his coverage despite his sympathies being with the Vietnamese people. Davis does not think that there was any way that the American could have won the war. The American bombing of the North brought the Communists to the conference table but he feels it made no real difference to the outcome. US employment of laser guided weapons that destroyed surface to air missile (SAM) sites and strategic bridges. The sophistication of the North's anti-aircraft system. Davis mentions the 'people sniffer' used by the Americans as an example of the sophisticated technology employed in the war and how this sometimes failed. Evasion tactics to avoid the radar guided SAM. Brief mention of helicopter losses in South Vietnam and the introduction of the shoulder mounted SAM (Soviet SA-7) by the North Vietnamese.

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