Women Make Movies at 45: Documentary Is/Not a Name - The Work of Trinh T. Minh-ha
Forgetting Vietnam (Philadelphia premiere)
dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha, US/S. Korea/Germany, 2015, video, 90 min.
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.
Dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha, U.S., 1983, 16mm, 38 min.
Trinh’s classic meditation on the ethics and aesthetics of ethnographic filmmaking. A film that does not attempt to speak about the women in Senegal, just to speak nearby.
Film programs at International House are funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and The Wyncote Foundation.