In an immersive narrative, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. Their new 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series, The Vietnam War, premieres Sunday, September 17 at 7 p.m. on KUED.

The first five episodes will air nightly Sunday, September 17, through Thursday, September 21, and the final five episodes will air nightly Sunday, September 24, through Thursday, September 28. Each episode begins at 7 p.m. with a repeat broadcast immediately following. Beginning Tuesday, October 3, the series will re-air on a weekly basis on Tuesday nights through November 28.

The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both sides.

“The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” Burns said. “Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn’t an American alive then who wasn’t affected in some way – from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens. More than 40 years after it ended, we can’t forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame, and whether it was all worth it.”

“Ken and I have tried to shed new light on the war by looking at it from the bottom up, the top down, and from all sides,” said Novick. “In addition to dozens of Americans who shared their stories, we interviewed many Vietnamese on both the winning and losing sides, and were surprised to learn that the war remains as painful and unresolved for them as it is for us. Within this almost incomprehensibly destructive event, we discovered profound, universal human truths, as well as uncanny resonances with recent events.”

Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick, and Burns, the series includes rarely-seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The Vietnam War features new, original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as more than 120 popular songs that define the era, including tracks from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Otis Redding, Santana, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, The Temptations, Booker T. and the M.G.s, Pete Seeger, and more.

In conjunction with the broadcast of The Vietnam War, KUED will make all three episodes of its award-winning Utah Vietnam War Stories available for online streaming at video.kued.org or at the PBS video app for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV.  

Thousands of young men and women from every walk of life in Utah served during the Vietnam conflict. Almost 400 of them would never return. For two generations their stories have seldom been heard. Some veterans fell silent in the face of an indifferent and even hostile reception when they came home. Others simply remained silent, choosing not to revisit the personal cost of war.

KUED captured the powerful, poignant, funny, and tearful memories of dozens of Utah’s veterans in its award-winning documentary series, Utah Vietnam War Stories.