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Saigon, A War Not Our Own

Elvera Roussel

ELVERA ROUSSEL/SAIGON, A WAR NOT OUR OWN I am documenting the experiences and emotional repercussions of American children living in Saigon at the onset of Vietnam war.

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ELVERA ROUSSEL/SAIGON, A WAR NOT OUR OWN - A little known fact is that there were a few hundred American born children living in Saigon at the onset of the Vietnam war. They were in Saigon because their parents worked in various fields like teaching, private contracting, manufacturing and as diplomats. They were living the life similar to that of any other expatriate community in the world. However, between the years 1955 and 1965 they witnessed various incidents including three bombings of the Presidential Palace, a monk setting himself on fire in protest, and two bombings of the local movie theatre with American adults and children inside. Through extensive interviews with approximately forty of these now grown children we will present the realities of being in a war in a country not our own. Included will be information on the history of Vietnam, maps, the French occupation, military incidents, original photographs as well as home movies and news footage. I was one of those children. Our stories are real, funny and touching. That time in our lives influenced who we have become. We now live all over America and the world. We will be one voice bringing you from our first steps into Saigon through the various incidents, cutting from person to person describing where they were at the time and weaving in the information given to the world while we were sometimes experiencing somewhat different situations. Also included will be our thoughts on what was happening and our relationships, or lack of, with the Vietnamese people. We will carry you out of Vietnam and into the lives we have lead since then and tell you who we have become. This film is being made as a nonpartisan sharing of information directly from the mouths of witnesses. Nobody is being asked what their political persuasion or religious view is so as to keep it unbiased. The audience will be able to see the truth about a war as witnessed by children who had nothing to gain by being there.