South Vietnamese forces have recently recaptured a number of towns and villages in the country's northernmost province, Quang Tri, in a bid to wrest it from North Vietnamese control.
GVs & SV Hai Lang refugees arriving at refugee centre (2 shots)
GV & SV Refugee feeding small child (2 shots)
Cus refugees (3 shots)
MV Woman feeding baby
Mvs children and babies (5 shots)
GV Refugee family eating
Initials ES.1620 ES.1540
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Background: South Vietnamese forces have recently recaptured a number of towns and villages in the country's northernmost province, Quang Tri, in a bid to wrest it from North Vietnamese control.
One of the towns recaptured by South Vietnamese troops was Hai Lang. Its residents told the incoming soldiers that they'd been held forcibly within the town boundaries by the North Vietnamese forces since its capture two months earlier. Anyone who tried to escape south was shot, they said, and they were forced to attend indoctrination lectures.
During the recent fighting, the residents hid in rice fields to escape South Vietnamese artillery and Untied states bombing by giant 8-52 aircraft. The North Vietnamese Army withdrew after several days of bombardment.
But the residents of Hai Lang were told by the South Vietnamese Army that they couldn't stay -- because further fighting was expected. So instead of being prisoners in their own town, they were to become refugees -- like the other five million South Vietnamese displaced by the war in the previous ten years.
This film was shot while the townspeople of Hai Lang were being clothed, fed and treated at a refugee camp in the town centre before their evacuation.
SYNOPSIS: These are the residents of Hai Lang -- a small town in South Vietnam's northernmost Quang Tri Province. For two months, they claimed, they were held prisoner in the town by North Vietnamese forces, who'd captured it two months earlier.
But when South Vietnamese troops recaptured Hai Lang recently, along with a number of other small towns in the province, the residents were gathered into a refugee centre in the middle of Hai Lang -- and told to prepare for evacuation. For, said the incoming troops, further fighting was expected in the struggle to wrest the province from control of the North Vietnamese Army, who were still holding the capital, Quang Tri City.
The residents of Hai Lang said they were forced to attend indoctrination lectures under the North Vietnamese, and that anyone trying to escape to the south had been shot. During the recent fighting that led to its recapture, they hid in rice fields during south Vietnamese and United States artillery and bombing -- but instead of being able to live peacefully in their own homes once more, they were to become refugees. Now, they join the other five million South Vietnamese homeless, displaced by the war in the past ten years.