Although I put a lot of expectations on the first project, after receiving feedback from teachers and classmates, I was very disappointed but also totally agree with the idea that my project is too hard to implement, and it is infeasible. This gave me a lot of concerns and consideration about whether to change the way a project is produced or start over, proposing a whole new project. I was quite desperate and in urgent to find a new idea. I spent days and days doing research and looking through all my previous assessments. Thanks to an “excellent” compliment of my documentary script in Story, Medium, and Genre course, I am finally able to pitch a totally new idea.
The Diaries is an interactive website illustrating the content of the “wartime” dairies which were written by Dr. Dang Thuy Tram, a civilian doctor working for Northern Vietnam. Frederic Whitehurst, an American veteran had brought the diaries to America when he finished his duty in Vietnam in the early 1970s. After 35 years being lost in America, this veteran came back and returned the dairies to Tram’s family. This event arose a great interest of national and international public opinion, especially Vietnamese and American veteran who survived from one of the most disastrous battlefields in human history.
Dr Dang Thuy Tram was a Vietnamese doctor, born in 1942, in Hue, Vietnam and she sacrificed in 1970, Duc Pho, Vietnam. Tram was born in an intellectual family. Her father was a surgeon, Dang Ngoc Khue; her mother was a pharmacist, Doan Ngoc Tram.
In 1966, Tram volunteered to work in the field as a battlefield surgeon for Northern Vietnam during the Vietnam War. During the wartime, Tram wrote two dairies, which chronicled the last two years of her life. At the age of 27, she was killed in disputed circumstances by US forces while traveling on a trail in Ba To jungle in Quang Ngai, Vietnam. Her diaries were kept and brought to America by Whitehurst. They were returned to her family 35 years after the Vietnam War ended.
Vietnam 1968 – 1970:
The year 1968 saw major developments in the Vietnam War. The military operations started with an attack on a US base by the Vietnam people army (NVA) and the Viet Cong, ending a truce declared by the Pope and agreed upon by all sides.
Although militarily the operation was a failure for the Vietnamese communists, for them it was a propaganda victory, as on the home front the American public was shocked by the images they were seeing on their televisions.
June 22, 1970, during a business trip from the mountains of Ba To to lowland, Dang Thuy Tram was ambushed by the American military. Her remains were buried by local people in the place of her sacrifice at the age of 27 in Duc Pho.
“The diaries” journey 1970 – 2005:
In response to a strong anti-war mandate, Nixon announced the effective end to US. Involvement in Vietnam in 1973. American veteran returned home, along with Viet Cong crossing border to US.
Tram’s diaries were brought to America by Whitehurst. A few years later, could not stand the obsession of what Vietnam War had brought, Whitehurst asked Greifzu to keep the diaries. 20 years later, Greifzu joined the effective translation and recognized the value of these particular relics, Greifzu decided to give them back to Whitehurst in 1996.
After nearly 10 years of ideological struggling, in 2005, Whitehurst returned Vietnam to give Tram’s mother the diaries.
The diaries speak poignantly of Tram’s devotion to family and friends, the horrors of war, her yearning for her high school sweetheart, and her struggle to prove her loyalty to her country. At times raw, at times lyrical and youthfully sentimental, her voice transcends cultures to speak of her dignity and compassion and of her challenges in the face of the war’s ceaseless fury.
The Dairies with 256 pages translated in English will be accompanied by information as well as events related to the war at that moment. By clicking on each page, all photos and information about the location on the map will be displayed. In addition, related events information and images will be displayed through motion graphics to enhance the visual of the web layout. The content of the two diaries will be screened and classified. The viewer can read the diary in chronological order or by category.
The audience can leave comments and feedbacks. All feelings, thoughts, and especially flashbacks, memories of the war are especially welcome to express.
Target audience and distribution plan
“The Diaries” aims at people who are interested in Vietnam War, especially Vietnamese and American veteran.
“The Diaries” Facebook page, which most popular social network site used in Vietnam will be created before launching the website to intrigue the audience. Hashtag #thediaries on Twitter will be linked with previous articles about how Whitehurst and Greifzu came to Vietnam to return Tram’s diaries.
I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration.