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[Video] Saigon Street Scenes (1940-1950)

This is one of the harder old Saigon videos to make sense of since it’s a compilation of clips filmed between 1940 and 1950, starkly different times in the country's history (World War 2 will do that). 

Some of the footage was taken in 1945-46 as there are scenes showing British flags and troops in the city. The Japanese surrendered to the British in Saigon and the latter occupied the city until it reverted to French control in 1946.

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There are some awkward juxtapositions where footage of war-damaged buildings yields to scenes of French in pressed white shirts, gleefully riding their bikes on a sunny day through downtown Saigon (clearly stoked to have regained control of their colony).

While there are lots of other historical goodies in this film, the coolest part for us was the locomotive chugging past the opera house - a reminder that Saigon has a long but generally forgotten history of urban rail.

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