Title sequence concept for Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer, a novel based in Vietnam and Los Angeles during the Vietnam War.
The story follows the narrator, a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese army, who stays embedded in a South Vietnamese community in exile in the United States. While in the United States, the narrator describes being an expatriate and a cultural advisor on the filming of an American film, closely resembling Platoon and Apocalypse Now, before returning to Vietnam as part of a guerrilla raid against the communists.

The dual identity of the narrator, as a mole and immigrant, and the Americanization of the Vietnam War in international literature are central themes in the novel.
Art direction
The main stylistic influences for the title sequence were the simplistic vector graphics of the book cover design by Christopher Moisan, and the ruggedness of Hollywood Western movies to highlight contrasting political divisions of the war. The colors are primarily red and yellow which represent the flags of both the North and South Vietnam. They are represented equally because the protagonist has friends and family from both regions, and finds he is in a constant push and pull of his identity.
Historical significance

The Sympathizer is set immediately after the Fall of Saigon in April 1975, so the title sequence focuses on setting the stage for what unfolds into a complex story about the struggles of identity during and after the Vietnam War (American War). The sequence begins with the violence that occurred in Vietnam, with jets flying over the land and bombing the soil. Motifs of the war make up the sequence, including images of helicopters, missiles, the jungle, and the ocean. Each text transition is coupled with a distinct sound heard during the war, such as jet engines, torpedoes, helicopters, militia marching, as well as natural sounds of the jungle like rainfall, thunder, and wildlife. The end of the title sequence reveals Vietnamese boat people drifting in the ocean and luckily finding soil, as well as the Los Angeles cityscape where many Vietnamese people would soon become refugees, including the protagonist of the story. 

Music significance
On April 30th 1975, Bing Crosby’s 1942 hit “White Christmas” played on the Armed Forces Radio which was the signal to the United States to evacuate and retreat Saigon, which is right where the novel begins. Although a fictional tale, the title sequence stays true to the historical context and highlights this shocking juxtaposition of the holiday music and the sounds of war, which would have been heard by many.