Pivot Points in History


Pivot Points in History

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War we can’t help but wonder about the “what ifs”.

Imagine a history show that combines history with scenarios but with a big twist.

For example, what if instead of being dreaded enemies, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh had been allies of the United States?

Or what if a highly respected Time Magazine Vietnam War correspondent, a confidant of U.S. and South Vietnamese generals, politicians and diplomats, was a North Vietnamese spy?

And what if a Vietnam War correspondent had lived and traveled with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong and made documentary masterpieces about them but virtually no Americans saw them because their government didn’t want them to?

What if President Kennedy had approved an order whose effect was to assassinate the president of South Vietnam, a close U.S. ally whom President Eisenhower had helped install in power?

Sounds too implausible and improbable?

But actually, these stories are true.

Now imagine “Pivot Points in History”.

The Truth. Imagine That.

Perna Content is pleased to announce “Pivot Points in History”. This compelling new series of history programs presents new footage, new commentary and new perspectives on crucial historical events in the context of current events, issues and emotions. “Pivot Points in History” will focus on little-known experiences that, it turned out, had major ramifications.

With the passage of so many years, more of the fog around that conflict is lifting around the 20th Century wars in Indochina. We’re seeing more clearly into events whose significance was murky at the time they happened because of under- or over-reporting, excess emotion and official and unofficial ignorance, misinformation and disinformation. Had history’s key players better understood the origins of their own decision-making, later history could have been vastly different.

“Pivot Points in History” has a unique aesthetic and perspective as it dramatizes historical topics. Most of the material has never appeared before in mainstream U.S. media. The series tackles the complex stories of people operating in tense and confusing times and isn’t afraid to accept moral ambiguities. It shows how the passage of time by itself changes our understanding. The series frequently presents events with a sense of absurdist humor, showing history’s characters as frequently caught in events over which they had little or no control. They often realize that they are in ridiculous situations: their mordant humor comes out in interviews.

We aim to make audiences laugh occasionally as they see captives of history trying to understand the chaotic and perilous situations in which they involuntarily find themselves. A bit of “Catch 22″ and the great World War II novels of Evelyn Waugh.

We use our very unusual presentation structure and incisive and entertaining analyses of historical events to heighten understanding of today’s events. We explain why people made what we see with hindsight were bad decisions but why they might have seen them as reasonable, indeed, unavoidable, at the time. The series does not seek to place blame per se but rather to help viewers understand why people do what they do in crises. We hope that these exciting stories might help us avoid some mistakes in the future. As Mark Twain said: “History may not repeat itself, but there are rhythms.’’

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