Hopes of a ceasefire in Vietnam have had an unexpected side effect among young Vietnamese brides-to-be.
GV Saigon street scene
SV Soldiers with Vietnamese girls walk along street (3 shots)
CU Sign on clinic PAN TO Patients waiting (2 shots)
SCU Patient talks to official in clinic
CU Patient having face massaged (2 shots)
CU & SV Doctors perform eye operation as explosion outside (3 shots)
SCU Woman clearing debris
CU Woman after eye operation
SV PAN Patients waiting
SV & CU Marriage ceremony between U.S. marine and Vietnamese girl (5 shots)
Initials BB/1835 PK/PN/BB/1830
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Background: Hopes of a ceasefire in Vietnam have had an unexpected side effect among young Vietnamese brides-to-be. They are undergoing cosmetic surgery to help them look more Western in their features.
The trend is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the number of girls going through marriage ceremonies with United States servicemen.
A ceasefire would mean that the majority of U.S. forces-now estimated at 25,000--in South Vietnam will leave the country within 60 days.
Preparations to obtain marriage papers, immigration clearances into the United States, and the many other necessary formalities take up to 40 days, which leaves very little time for the South Vietnamese girls wishing to marry Americans.
Many Vietnamese fiancees and wives seek to become as "Westernised" as possible and are having operations to reshape their features.
The operation involves minor surgery around the eyes and the nose.
Most of the operations are done in cosmetic clinics--in the midst of the bustle of Saigon life and even the thunder of the nearby war.
For many of the Vietnamese girls, both the operation and the marriage to a foreign man is a difficult decision to make. Both cause unfavourable comment in a country which has been traditionally against mixed marriages.
The official Vietnamese wedding involves little more than a signing before witnesses. But once the couple have the marriage papers, they must go to the United States Consulate for the immigration papers they need to travel to the U.S. as man and wife.
SYNOPSIS: In the streets of Saigon, United States troops walk with Vietnamese girls...little different from the scene that has so often been evident during the years of war. But things are changing as hopes of a ceasefire continue to rise. With an end to the war, the majority of U.S. forces will leave, many taking with them Vietnamese brides. To help them become as "Westernised" as possible, some of the girls are undergoing cosmetic surgery.
The operation involves minor surgery around the eyes and nose. It's a simple operation, but a big decision for a girl in a country where marriage to a foreigner is frowned upon, even in the midst of war. As this scene was being filmed, an explosion in an ammunition store rocked the clinic.
The debris can be cleared away, but for the girl seeking to marry a United States serviceman, the problems remain. A ceasefire now would mean the twenty-five-thousand or so Americans now in South Vietnam would have to leave the country within sixty days. Obtaining marriage papers, immigration clearance into the United States, and the many other necessary formalities can take up to forty days. This leaves little time for the potential bride-to-be.
The Vietnamese ceremony involves only signing before witnesses. But then the couple must attend the U.S. Consulate for the vital immigration papers. Only with these, can they travel to the United States as man and wife.