"NAM" is a special project for me since it developed out of my association with a number of Vietnam War veterans and some of their actor friends who wanted to honor these men, who served in this most misunderstood war of all wars, by making a movie about some of their experiences. I was involved in three films about the War and so after a few years of dealing with the subject, I encountered a few veterans who were wounded in the War. Their stories were so compelling that I found myself making one movie after another about the Vietnam experience.
One Special Forces veteran who was wounded in the War told me, "We didn't mind the conscientious objectors who didn't want to fight on principle -- it was to protect their right not to fight we were fighting for anyway. However, those who marched against us for serving our country and spat on us when we returned home, they're the ones we resented. We felt that they protested the war because they were too scared to fight. ...We were scared too, but we fought anyway."
"NAM" is the story of a Special Forces veteran who is undergoing treatment for post war syndrome. Hank, played by Steve Oliver, is captured by the Viet Cong while on an operation to assassinate a double-dealing village chief. He is caught in the attempt and imprisoned. He's tortured for years until he escapes and returns home, where he is placed in a naval psychiatric ward. He escapes from the ward. The CIA operative who originally trained him wants him back in the program. The secrets of the PRU operation are still being guarded. Meanwhile Hank is more concerned with his drug addicted girlfriend than his own safety. By helping her, he's able to help himself. The CIA agent, played by veteran actor William Smith, decides finally to let Hank go.
The movie's best quality is its realism in exposing both the horrors of war's lingering memories and the ravages of drug addiction. The story is thought provoking and tough. The actors portray the drama of war and alienation convincingly. This is a provocative movie about the agony and triumph of the human soul against the ravages of a gruesome war.