Maysles Documentary Center: The American Experiment: Forgetting Vietnam



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  • Maysles Cinema343 Malcolm X BoulevardNew York, NY, 10027United States (map)
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  • Trinh T. Minh-ha, 2015, 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.

    Q&A with Trinh T. Minh-ha to follow screening.

    Forgetting Vietnam has the capacity to carry viewers away, to sweep them up in the river-flows of Vietnam’s history and present. In these currents, the distinctions between poetry, philosophy, and pop music, grand historical events and everyday actions are blurred.”
    -Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa & Patricia Alvarez, The Brooklyn Rail


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Event Information:

  • Sun, Feb 17, 2019 to Sun, Feb 17, 2019
  • Event Link