Join us for an exclusive screening of Nguyen Trinh Thi’s short films Letters from Panduranga (2015) and Vietnam The Movie (2016) at the Crow Collection of Asian Art.
Nguyen Trinh Thi
Letters from Panduranga (2015)
This essay film, made in the form of a letter exchange between a man and a woman, was inspired by the fact that the government of Vietnam plans to build the country’s first two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan (formerly known as Panduranga), right at the spiritual heart of the Cham indigenous people, threatening the survival of this ancient matriarchal Hindu culture that stretches back almost two thousand years.At the border between documentary and fiction, the film shifts audience attention between foreground and background, between intimate portraits and distant landscapes, offering reflections around fieldwork, ethnography, art, and the role of the artist. Intertwining circumstances of the past, present, and future, the film also unfolds a multi-faceted historical and on-going experience of colonialisms, and looks into the central ideas of power and ideology in our everyday.
Nguyen Trinh Thi
Vietnam The Movie (2016)
Color, Black and white, sound
Vietnam The Movie uses a carefully structured montage of clips from drama and documentary films to give a chronological account of Vietnamese history from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s, encompassing the end of French colonialism and America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. But this is no conventional history lesson. Rather, the excerpts chosen contrast a variety of external and often oppositional views, ranging from mainstream Hollywood drama to European art-house. Source material from the US includes Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July and Forrest Gump, whilst Europe is represented by the works of Harun Farocki, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and Jean-Luc Godard. Director Nguyễn Trinh also splices extracts from the films of Nagisa Oshima, Satyajit Ray and Ann Hui into the mix. The result suggests that any ‘true’ picture of Vietnam has been lost to the multiplicity of symbolic purposes to which the country, its people and their tribulations have been put.
***Warning: Nudity and adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.
NGUYEN TRINH THI (b. 1973; Lives and works in Hanoi, Vietnam)
Nguyen Trinh Thi is an independent filmmaker and video/media artist. Her diverse practice has consistently investigated the role of memory in the necessary unveiling of hidden, displaced or misinterpreted histories, and examined the position of artists in the Vietnamese society. Nguyen studied journalism, photography, international relations and ethnographic film in the United States. Her films and video art works have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions including Sydney Biennale 2017, Jeu de Paume, Paris; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; the Lyon Biennale 2015; Asian Art Biennial 2015, Taiwan; Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial 2014; Singapore Biennale 2013; Jakarta Biennale 2013; Oberhausen International Film Festival; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival; Artist Films International; DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; and Kuandu Biennale, Taipei.
Seating is limited. Tickets are non-refundable.