Amateur films, Australian troops and the Vietnam War

See Stephanie Boyle (2009), ‘Amateur Film and the Researcher: Alternative Perspectives of Australian Soldiers in Vietnam’, Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 40:3, 223-233.

‘Amateur films, home movies, home videos – whatever they might be called – have been described as providing authentic, alternative, and personalised views of life, on subjects ranging from simple family rituals to cataclysmic events such as natural disasters and war. The importance of these records as resources for historical and social research is increasingly being acknowledged by the academic community, as well as by commercial program makers who have long been aware of their potential. This paper focuses on one collection, the amateur films shot by Australian troops during their deployment in Vietnam. These films present a view of the Vietnam War distinctly different to the perspective offered by official records and other sources of information, and they offer an insight into the soldiers’ own perspective which is not necessarily available elsewhere. As such, they represent a significant research resource in their own right, providing rich primary material for a wide range of researcher activities.’

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