“THE QUIET WAR”
produced by Associated-Rediffusion
The programme takes a hard look at the war In South Vietnam which has succeeded the six years of open warfare between the Vietnamese and the French that culminated at Dien-Bien-Phu. To tell the story of this war, the country itself and the political struggle behind the scenes, an 8-man team was sent to Saigon for a two-month film assignment and whenever they travelled In the countryside they had to have an armed escort.
The film concentrates on the life of one family… that of Mr. No, a farmer near Thu-Duc. It shows how they live, work, pray and play. It also goes to the 17th Parallel where a river separates South Vietnam from the Communist North; to a school for reformed prostitutes in Vin-Long; to the ancient city of Hue, where they filmed traditional dances; and elsewhere in the country. The programme also includes some incredible film of the abortive coup d’état of November 1960.
Vietnam has its uglier aspects but it is also a place with which to fall in love.
The grace and beauty of the women, the stoic cheerfulness of the men and the sometimes fierce, sometimes gentle warmth of the climate make it a place to go back to… a beautiful, fascinating place.
But it is also a dangerous place. Boiling up inside this little country is a situation that could make the quiet war into a loud war, shattering all our eardrums. How this can be avoided is the theme of the programme.
“THE HEARTBEAT OF FRANCE”
produced by Associated-Rediffusion
Contemporary France, in the terms of one hour of television journalism, provides a perplexing embarrassment of riches. What are the key questions? The enigma of General de Gaulle? Algeria? The ambiguous nature of French democracy? The importance of France in Europe and In the Western Alliance? France as a nuclear power? As a cultural leader? As a modern industrial nation?
All of these topical and important facets of the French scene are the stuff of television documentary, worthy of examination for the international audience for whom Associated-Rediffusion’s major feature programmes are now produced. But each of them illumines no more than one aspect of this complex and paradoxical country, her current problems and achievements. Between the France of history, continually glorified by her poets and philosophers, and the France of today’s headlines, is the France that survives, adapts and develops.
“POSTSCRIPT TO EMPIRE”
produced by N.E.T.R.C. and WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY
Affectionate regard for the past on the one hand, sharp criticism of established traditions on the other — these are the contradictory attitudes to be found in present-day Britain — so decided the Intertel team who made the hour-long feature “Postscript to Empire.”
The picture that emerges from this candid examination is one of a nation in transition — a nation trying to come to terms with the world that has developed since World War II.
“Postscript to Empire” tells the story of two places — the New Town of Stevenage, and the Isle of Dogs — an area that encompasses London’s vital docks and shipping centre.
It is here that tradition has a firm grip — crane drivers hand their jobs down to their sons — shopkeepers remember the dark days of the blitz, and an old lady of seventy-eight recalls her pioneering work with the suffragette movement. Britain relies heavily on trade — and the Isle of Dogs gives a good indication of what is happening to the rest of Britain’s economy.
The spacious, new-look town planning of Stevenage is a vivid contrast to the crowded slum-filled streets of Dockland. Here, Britons build new lives — a carpenter who came here is now a factory manager — a manual labourer can be sure that his children will get a better deal in these new surroundings. But is it good to uproot communities like this? Does it make people restless, with little sense of “belonging”?
Britain is aware of the many problems that she has to face and of the need for national development to match the pace of the 1960s. Is it a good thing to move out to a new town? To sacrifice tradition for experiment and opportunity? Or are Britons content with things as they are? Are they grateful for the accomplishments of the past fifteen years? These are the questions posed by “Postscript to Empire.”
“LIVING WITH A GIANT”
in production by Associated-Rediffusion
Canada is big — bigger than any other country in the world except the Soviet Union. Yet Canada lives in the shadow of the Stars and Stripes. American influence is overpowering — will it one day stifle the Canadian character completely?
Cars, consumer goods, television programmes, kitchen gadgets, books, are virtually all-American products in Canada; the subtle blend of England and France that gives the Canadian his distinctive national personality is in danger of being submerged. Can the continued independent existence of Canada and the United States be justified? This is the question which is examined by the Intertel programme “Living with a Giant.”
A team of expert television journalists has been to Canada to analyse first-hand opinion and first-hand reactions — they found considerable evidence of strong Canadian nationalism and a real fear of American domination – domination that is growing stronger. American finance plays a dominant role in Canadian industry and since World War II American business has invested twelve billion dollars in Canada.
If Canada is to make her own contribution to world politics and North American affairs, she must find her national identity in today’s world. Thus Intertel tries to probe a vital question — will Canada continue to live with her giant neighbour, or will she one day become part of the giant itself?
to be produced by Associated-Rediffusion
Since 1941, the United States has consistently used its great economic power to maintain and to widen the areas of national independence and of political freedom In the world. Today Aid Programmes embrace more than seventy nations.
The story of this Aid and of the men and women “abroad” who administer it, wisely, unwisely, successfully, unsuccessfully and always in the light of increasing competition from the Soviet-bloc countries, forms the basis of this programme.
Cameras go to “neutral” nations. In South Vietnam is seen the struggle against illiteracy and disease carried on within the sight and sound of communist forces. In Cambodia the film will show straight competition at work, a Chinese radio-station, a new French port, a fine Russian hospital and an American road which has not turned out as well at it was hoped but is rapidly being made better. In Pakistan can be seen giant projects for changing the course of rivers, for ridding the earth of paralysing salts which are wasting 100,000 acres a year.
Then there are the young hopefuls of the Peace Corps, products of a new idea which may revolutionise America’s relations with all the countries she helps. But the programme is also concerned with unofficial help, with doctors and nurses, authors and missionaries — tourists too.
What impact have they had, or are they having, on a changing world? This is their story.
Intertel here travels to four new nations — to South Viet-Nam threatened by communists from the north, saboteurs from Laos, who arrive by sea at night — to Cambodia, friendly with ‘East’ and ‘West’, accepting help from all who wish to offer it; the next rich plum in the communist basket, or can it survive? — to Pakistan, committed by treaty to the military alliances of the ‘West’, yet struggling against hunger and years of corruption — to Ghana, uncommitted; once a British colony now what? A friend of the ‘West’ or a notch in the score kept at the Kremlin?