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American Experience; My Lai


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American Experience
My Lai
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Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

What drove a company of American soldiers - ordinary young men deployed to liberate a small foreign nation from an oppressive neighbor - to murder more than 300 unarmed Vietnamese civilians? Were they "just following orders," as some later declared? Or, as others argued, did they break under the pressure of a misguided military strategy that measured victory by body count? Today, as the United States once again finds itself questioning the morality of actions taken in the name of war, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Barak Goodman ("The Lobotomist," "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy") focuses his lens on the 1968 My Lai massacre, its subsequent cover-up and the heroic efforts of the soldiers who broke rank to halt the atrocities. "My Lai" draws upon eyewitness accounts of Vietnamese survivors and men of the Charlie Company 11th Infantry Brigade and recently discovered audio recordings from the Peers Inquiry to recount one of the darkest chapters of the Vietnam War.

Written, Produced & Directed by Barak Goodman An Ark Media production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; My Lai,” 03/26/2010, GBH Archives, accessed November 29, 2023,
MLA: “American Experience; My Lai.” 03/26/2010. GBH Archives. Web. November 29, 2023. <>.
APA: American Experience; My Lai. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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