Sad Song of Yellow Skin

  • Michael Rubbo
  • Canada
  • 1970
  • 58 min
A film about the other Saigon, where bombs hardly ever fall and blood is rarely shed. Where the wounds of the war are not so much physical, but where people are - mentally rather than physically - dying. The film confronts the viewer with another kind of war, seen through the eyes of three young Americans who live in this city. All three of them nourish the ideal to bring about peace, for themselves as well as for the Vietnamese. They want to tear down the wall of suspicion between themselves and the Vietnamese. Each of them uses his own method to achieve this. Dick Hughes takes us to Saigon. His house is a relief centre for street urchins. The conversations he has with the kids demonstrate how much their wartime experiences have (mentally) injured them. John Steinbeck has transformed an island in the river into a place of peace and prayer. A group of religious people has retired here and is incessantly praying for peace. The stillness here contrasts strongly with the war. Finally, Steve Erhardt guides the spectators to a refugee town, situated on an ancient catholic graveyard. The film shows the other side of the war, the huge influence of the Americans on life in Vietnam, the corruption and the moral wounds this situation has inflicted on the Vietnamese people.


  • 58 min
  • color
  • 16mm
Michael Rubbo
Tom Daly, National Film Board of Canada
Martin Duckworth, Pierre Letarte
Torben Schioler, Michael Rubbo
Pierre Letarte

IDFA history

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies