Burns sees Vietnam War as virus, documentary as vaccination

FILE - In this April 28, 1965 file photo, U.S. Marine infantry stream into a suspected Viet Cong village near Da Nang in Vietnam during the Vietnamese war. Filmmaker Ken Burns said he hopes his 10-part documentary about the War, which begins Sept. 17, 2017 on PBS, could serve as sort of a vaccine against some problems that took root during the conflict, such as a lack of civil discourse in America. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)

Filmmaker Ken Burns says his upcoming documentary about the Vietnam War could serve as sort of a vaccine against some of the problems that took root during the conflict.

HANOVER, N.H. — Filmmaker Ken Burns says his upcoming documentary about the Vietnam War could serve as sort of a vaccine against some of the problems that took root during the conflict.

Burns and co-director Lynn Novick spent 10 years on the 10-part, 18-hour series that will begin airing on PBS in September. They've been previewing excerpts around the country, most recently at Dartmouth College on Thursday night.

Burns says the lack of civil discourse in America and other problems can be traced to the Vietnam War era, and he hopes the film will prompt courageous conversations about what took place.

The film brings together the latest scholarly research on Vietnam and features interviews with Americans who fought in the war and those who opposed it, Vietnamese civilians and soldiers from both sides.

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This story has been corrected to show that the co-director's last name is Novick, not Novak.

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