The Marc Steiner Show

Shared Weight

The Fall of Saigon, 30 Years Later

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Shared Weight: The Fall of Saigon, 30 Years LaterThe journey to produce Shared Weight started back in 2004 when Marc Steiner realized that 2005 would be 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War split a generation and divided a nation. In the 30 years since the conflict ended, little open healing between those who were soldiers and those who resisted the war had taken place. Little acknowledgement had been paid to the effect the war had on Vietnamese society in the 30 years since. The six part documentary series Shared Weight is a response to that lack of healing and an attempt to begin a conversation between warriors, artists, war resisters, and Vietnamese people.

Shared Weight: The Fall of Saigon, 30 Years LaterIn 2005, the Center for Emerging Media secured funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Osprey Foundation and sent 8 people to Vietnam. Some were veterans, and some were draft resisters. The lives they lived and the stories they found in Vietnam are at the center of this documentary series. This six part series will take you into the conversation between five brothers as they discuss, for the first time, the Vietnam War and how it changed them. You will hear the story of how one man beat a court martial, and the story of how the people who traveled to Vietnam in 2005 found the journey to change and affect them in ways they could never have predicted. You will hear the story of how Vietnam was the beginning of one man’s descent into, and his eventual triumph over, addiction and alchoholism, as well as the story of one man who was haunted by the personal journals of the Viet Cong soldier he killed. Their stories, among others including Vietnamese people, demonstrate the lasting effects of this war which ended over three decades ago.

The series was finished in early 2006. It aired on public radio stations across the country, including WAMU in Washington, D.C., WYPR in Baltimore, WHYY in Philadelphia, KUOW in Seattle, WBEZ in Chicago, and KQED in San Francisco among dozens of others.

The Eight Who Went to Vietnam

Shared Weight: The Fall of Saigon, 30 Years LaterMarc Steiner writes:

Eight of us went on this journey together. One of my friends, Wayne Karlin, a Marine combat Vietnam veterans and also a wonderful author and novelist, became one of the producers and creative minds behind this series. His story along with great Vietnam veteran novelist, Tim O’Brien, were the heart of the second production called Artist Born of War. Neelon Crawford, our recordist, was an old friend who had been in the movie business as a soundman and despite being nearly blind from macro degeneration was a world adventurer and an amazing photographer and painter. He was a resister during the war. We were also joined by Woody Curry, an old friend who grew up in the inner city streets of Baltimore and served with the Army in Vietnam at the beginning of the war. He was Vietnamese translator and, like Wayne Karlin, a helicopter gunner. We were also joined by Steve Elliot, another old friend. We went to high school together. Steve is an incredible wonderful composer and musician, cameraman and film editor. He served all those functions and more on this journey.

When we arrived back in the states, Steve became our postproduction producer. He edited Homer’s story, chose all the music and oversaw editing of the entire series. Steve was a draft resister during the war. Two world renowned poets, George Evans and Daisy Zamora, also came on this journey. Both of them were veterans-he during the Vietnam War, during which he served as a US Air force medic and she as a former Sandinista guerilla. Daisy later became the Deputy Minister of Culture under the first post-Somoza government in Nicaragua. Daisy and George live between San Francisco and Managua, Nicaragua now. Daisy appears in our first story, Wandering Souls and George’s story of beating his court martial in US Air Force is part of our fourth story called Mash 1969 – Visions of War, Dreams of Peace.

Shared Weight: The Fall of Saigon, 30 Years LaterFinally, there was part of another couple on this journey, Valerie Williams. Valerie besides being my other half, was the lead producer of our madcap crew and production. She wrote the grants, ran the money, ran the schedule, organized the trip, kicked people’s butts and kept all going. Her creative input at the back end of the project was immeasurable. No Valerie, no journey.

Then there is I, Marc Steiner. The final episode, Unpredictable Journey, was my story. Unpredictable it was, eye opening and life changing it was. I never expected how profoundly this journey would affect me.

  • A production of the Center for Emerging Media
  • Produced by Steve Elliot and Marc Steiner
  • Studio engineer and editor Andrew Eppig.
  • Through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Osprey Foundation.
  • Hosted by Marc Steiner, Executive Producer.

Sponsors

Through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the
Osprey Foundation.

  • A production of the Center for Emerging Media
  • Produced by Steve Elliot and Marc Steiner
  • Studio engineer and editor Andrew Eppig.
  • Hosted by Marc Steiner, Executive Producer.

Links

Wandering Souls

Artist Born of War

Woody’s Journey

The Gilchrest Brothers

MASH 1969: Visions OF War, Dreams of Peace

George Evans

Daisy Zamora

Cu Chi Tunnels

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