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Famed VN intelligence general featured in films

Famed VN intelligence general featured in films

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 15:35 GMT+7

Revered Vietnamese intelligence general Pham Xuan An, whose double life has been depicted in American historian Larry Berman’s books, will be highlighted in a television series and feature film, which will be released next year.

The Vietnamese version of Prof. Berman’s revised book titled “Perfect spy X6 - the incredible double life of Pham Xuan An, Reuters, Time, New York Herald Tribune reporter & Vietnamese strategic intelligence general” was launched in Hanoi earlier this week.

The version was also released in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2013.

Berman, the author, said at the Hanoi book launch that his English version will be published in the US and several other countries.

The professor added that he’s currently working with local book publisher First News on a 32-episode TV series on General An, with each episode being some 45 minutes in length.

The film, which costs some US$1 million, will be shot in Vietnam and the US, with the script being revised by the professor himself. The first episode is expected to air on Vietnam’s National Day, Sept 2, 2015.

Prof. Berman is also working on a 120-minute feature film on the general, “Diep vien hoan hao X6” (The perfect spy X6).

“I really hope that the film will be screened at the Academy Awards or Cannes Festival. My responsibility is to let the world know about General An, a brilliant  Vietnamese spy,” he shared.

General An himself recounted his eventful, thrilling spy life to Prof. Berman, who recorded it and first wrote and published his book in 2007.

Six years later, Berman made significant additions to his publication, including astoundingly intriguing facts and details on An’s life, which he recorded but didn’t include in his first edition.

Pham Xuan An (1927 – 2006), also known by ‘X6’, ‘Hai Trung’ or ‘Tran Van Trung’, worked in South Vietnam as a reporter for Reuters, TIME magazine and the New York Herald Tribune during the Vietnam War, while at the same time spying for North Vietnam.

An lived this dangerous double life for more than twenty years. After the war, he was conferred with the title ‘Hero of the People's Army’ and promoted to general - one of the country’s only two intelligence officers to achieve that rank.

His eventful spy life has inspired several locally and foreign produced books and documentaries including Jean-Claude Pomonti’s “Un Vietnamien bien tranquille” (A tranquil Vietnamese) and Thomas A. Bass’s “Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game”.

Dr. Berman, founding dean of the Georgia State Honors College and winner of the Bernath Lecture Prize, has written several books on the Vietnam War including “Planning a Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Vietnam” and “Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road To Stalemate in Vietnam”.  

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