The Anderson Platoon (French: La Section Anderson) is a documentary feature by Pierre Schoendoerffer about the Vietnam War. Two decades later, a sequel was released as Reminiscence.
In summer 1966, France Soir news magazine director and French public channel ORTF producer Pierre Lazareff proposed that war reporter and director Pierre Schoendoerffer complete his "unachieved" war documentary he did in 1954.
Back in May 1954, Schoendoerffer was covering the First Indochina War for the French army's cinematographic service SCA. At the siege of Dien Bien Phu he filmed the battle between the French Union forces and the Viet Minh but his reels were captured when he surrendered to the enemy.
After the departure of the French forces from Vietnam in 1956 the U.S. Army replaced it several years later and fighting soon flared again, the beginning of the Vietnam War.
Arguing that "the war was the same, the French only switching with the Americans", Lazareff convinced the French veteran to return to Vietnam as a kind of second chance to complete his war documentary.
The French war cameraman and First Indochina War veteran Schoendoerffer (38), already famous for his celebrated masterpiece The 317th Platoon, returns to Vietnam.
On 1 August 1965, the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division is sent to South Vietnam. The following year in September, Schoendoerffer joins it and follows a 33-man platoon of GIs led by Black West Pointer Lieutenant Joseph B. Anderson (24) until October 1966.
The Anderson Platoon has been shown in more than 20 countries and won several prizes including an Oscar on April 10, 1968 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
1967: Italy Prix Italia for Original Dramatic Program
1968: United States Emmy Award for the Best Documentary Film of 1967
1967: United States Academy Award for Documentary Feature
1968: United Kingdom Merit Award (BBC)