French Indochina, from Imperial Jewel to Hell on Earth

La Fayette, We Are Here!

French Indochina, from Imperial Jewel to Hell on Earth

“The pearl of the Empire”, that’s how the French described their colony of Indochina, comprised of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They took over control in the nineteenth century, exploited the place for decades, and finally got kicked out in 1954-55. 

It is a story of violence and exploitation. Of colonization and war. Of exchanges and legacies. And sometimes, of beauty. A story also rarely told in France, as the French aren’t proud of what they did there.

Let’s find out more about French Indochina; from Imperial Jewel, to Hell on Earth. 


 The Second French Colonial Empire
08:31- The Establishment of French Indochina
16:51- A Colony of Exploitation
22:05- Bloody Greed
26:00- World War II and the Vietnamese Emancipation
30:13- The Indochina War
42:50- Conclusion

 Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs, composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully, arranged and performed by Jérôme Arfouche.

Art: Poster for tourism in French Indochina drawn by J. Lhuissier, circa 1920.

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