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Forgetting Vietnam
A film by Trinh T. Minh-ha, Produced by Jean-Paul Bourdier
US/South Korea/Germany, 2015, 90 minutes, DVD
Order No. W161192

One of the myths surrounding the creation of Vietnam involves a fight between two dragons whose intertwined bodies fell into the South China Sea and formed Vietnam’s curving S-shaped coastline. Influential feminist theorist and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha’s lyrical film essay commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war draws inspiration from ancient legend and from water as a force evoked in every aspect of Vietnamese culture. Minh-ha’s classic Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) used no original footage shot in the country; in Forgetting Vietnam images of contemporary life unfold as a dialogue between land and water—the elements that form the term "country." Fragments of text and song evoke the echoes and traces of a trauma of international proportions. The encounter between the ancient as related to the solid earth, and the new as related to the liquid changes in a time of rapid globalization, creates a third space of historical and cultural re-memory—what local inhabitants, immigrants and veterans remember of yesterday’s stories to comment on today’s events.


Trinh T. Minh-ha's new book, "Lovecidal: Walking with the Disappeared" is now available from Fordham University Press.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Cinéma du Réel
  • LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

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