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Vietnamese cinema offers fresh perspectives on wartime history

'Apocalypse Now' has drowned out vibrant domestic dramas and documentaries

A still from the 1981 film "The Three Rose Plan," featuring sassy killers on scooters and ill-fated CIA advisers. (Screen grab from YouTube) 

In May 1979, director Francis Ford Coppola emerged from his yacht to issue a war bulletin. His audience was eager to hear him: It had just attended the Cannes festival screening of his Vietnam War movie "Apocalypse Now," and already knew some of the hair-raising behind-the-scenes stories.

Typhoon Olga had wrecked the sets. The lead actor, Harvey Keitel, had been sacked from the production. His replacement, Martin Sheen, had suffered a near-fatal heart attack. The star villain, Marlon Brando, had arrived at the location underprepared and overweight. The picture had gone crazily over budget.

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