Nguyen Trinh Thi (°1973) got her first name ‘Thi’ – which means ‘poetry’ – from her grandfather, a poet. Was it a sign of things to come? As an essayistic filmmaker, she investigates the role of memory in the necessary unveiling of hidden, displaced or misinterpreted histories. Words as well as images are essential in that regard. The program ‘Displaced Places’ focuses on post-colonial experiences of modern Vietnam and all its complexities. In 2009, Nguyen founded Hanoi DocLab, an independent center for documentary film and the moving image art. Amongst many other young artists, Viet Vu – part of ‘Waiting for a Warm Embrace’ – passed through the program.
Vietnam the Movie, Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam, 2016, 47’)
Vietnam is not limited to the wars fought by the French and Americans. Yet the colonial battlefield determines the image of the Asian country in the West. With a montage of film clips from Hollywood, Europe and Asia, Vietnam the Movie reconstructs the country’s wartime past from the 1950s to the 1970s. Can a reconstruction based on a colored view from the outside rewrite history?
“Nguyen Trinh Thi’s actual selection and collection of archival material, negotiated and re-situated in Vietnam the Movie, offers to the viewer an alternative memory of history.” – Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, Frames Cinema Journal
Eleven Men, Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam, 2016, 28’)
In Eleven Men, Nguyen Trinh Thi uses scenes from the four-decade career of Vietnamese actress Nhu Quynh to tell a short story by Franz Kafka. His opening sentence “I have eleven sons”, pronounced by a father, is replaced by “I have eleven husbands”, pronounced by a woman.