This 1973 U.S. Army color film MF20-5841 describes itself as providing a historical documentary of the internment, release, and repatriation of enemy prisoners of war, as per the Geneva Convention. January 1973. A bird’s eye view is given of South Vietnam (1:08-1:35). Soldiers capture North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, blindfold, transport, and identify them (1:36-2:45). The prisoners were moved to a brigade collecting point for screening. Shown is the 4th Infantry Division Collecting Point. An overhead view shows the detainee tents and POWs arriving via helicopter (2:46-3:40). POWs sit under guard behind barbed wire fence. They are separated by signs: Detainee, Innocent Civilian, Officer, Female (3:41-3:57). Forms are filled out in an military office (3:58-4:29). Red Cross officials visit detainees (4:30-5:02). The central POW camp was on Phu Quoc, as seen from a guardhouse 5:03-5:15). Military police advise officers. The ARVN Military Police (Quan Canh) entrance is shown (5:16-6:10). There are large gardens. Water is drawn up from a well and carried between prisoners working the fields. Vocations were taught (6:11-7:48). A gong is sounded to gather into predefined groups. “Hard core” POWs were segregated from the rest (7:49-8:50). Many used the camp to learn skills such as manufacturing artificial legs, spray painting, wood construction, cabinetry, and sewing on Tung Yuen treadle machines (8:51-10:12). Doctors treat wounded POWs, and acupuncture was approved for use (10:13-11:19). Women and children wearing Asian conical rice hats sit outside the barbed wire fence, and leave parcels and mail for prisoners (11:25-12:15). Traditional Vietnamese holidays were celebrated, as shown by a dragon dance. Buddhist and Christian church services were provided (12:16-13:05). The camera pans the camp from a distance (13:06-13:58). The Paris agreement of January 1973 requires all prisoners to be released within 60 days. U.S. Air Force C-130s arrive to transport them. Some Viet Cong soldiers elected to be released into South Vietnamese society via truck transport (13:59-15:00). Complete personnel records were sent with each POW (15:01-15:39). On the day of release, some Viet Cong refused to move. Saigon sent members of the Joint Military Commission to speak with them. This delay held up the release of 27 American POWs and is resolved. The wounded receive ambulance rides or a military truck ride to the air field (15:40-18:55). The women are loaded into the transport plane (18:56-20:21). The able-bodied men ride in military trucks, shown leaving Khu Giam 3, and taken to the runway (20:22-21:30). The ICSS observed the aircraft loading process (21:31-22:40). Views inside the cockpit are shown (22:45-23:24). After landing, the people are moved by truck transport past wrecked villages. They strip their clothes off in defiance at the exchange site and board motorboats in their boxers to Duan Khan Thang Loi Tro Ve, where the North Vietnamese provide a new uniform. The ritual was repeated at other sites (23:25-27:14). POWs who changed their minds caused violence and turmoil between the military forces (27:15-32:24). The last group hold signs refusing to be returned and are transported for release in South Vietnam (32:25-34:30).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com