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Meet Rebecca Parrish. She is a director and cinematographer and has run her own Chicago-based film company, Interchange Productions since 2007. We came across her here in DC when her latest project, Radical Grace, had its premiere debut at the AFI Docs Fest in late June. The film tells the …

The Skinny (No Spoilers) When I was in high school, my U.S. history professor said that the biggest mistake that teachers make is to not teach past World War II. Whether it is from spending too much time on the Civil War or on the outsized personalities of revolutionary presidents, most professors run out of time at the end of the year and are only able to get us to 1945. As a result, we have kids that know what happened at the constitutional convention, but don’t know about those events that still directly impact their contemporary worlds: What caused the first Gulf War? What is the Civil Right Acts? What the hell happened during the Vietnam War? Last Days in Vietnam is a damn good documentary on the evacuation of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975. The famous picture of people scurrying to the roof to board a helicopter has been burned into a generation of American memories, rightly or wrongly, as a symbol of the wars futility (even though the roof shown is not actually that of the embassy). Directed by Rory Kennedy, who won an Emmy for the documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Last Days of Vietnam uses interviews from former embassy workers and soldiers, American and Vietnamese, to paint of rich narrative of those chaotic days. Running a quick 98 minutes, Last Days in Vietnam moves quick as a bunny, while still giving the viewer the necessary context. This is a must watch for those within Generation Y, since it is highly unlikely they have read, or heard, much about these April events.

Meet Dan Cohen. Dan is a six-time Emmy Award winning veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker as well as a native Washingtonian. His recent documentary, “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” has achieved mass distribution, airing on PBS stations across the country. FamousDC had the chance to speak with Dan about the incredible story he tells in his film. About the film: In 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia carried a remarkable and diverse crew, which included Israel’s first astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon who was the son of Holocaust survivors; however, the shuttle exploded on its’ return. Dan’s new documentary tells the untold story of Colonel Ramon and his crewmates as well as the story of a small Torah scroll from the Holocaust that was on the Shuttle. It is a story of hope that will connect with audiences of any background. The documentary will be on: Sunday February 17th, 2013 at 5:00 PM ET – WETA Saturday February 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET – MPT/WMPT

It’s unclear as to where the legendary buffet-goer filmmaker got his economics degree, but KFC is likely a good guess. [net flix]