Twenty-five years after its premiere, Trinh T. Minh-ha' s film remains an exemplary kind of documentary filmmaking, tackling issues of translation and untranslatability: from a Vietnamese transcript of half-spoken voices recorded at night, to the French publication of these interviews, to their re-translation into English by a native Vietnamese speaker, to the patient efforts of ordinary Vietnamese women to memorize and utter them, to the lyrics of Vietnamese ballads translated into English subtitles, and finally to Trinh delivering, in English, fragments of oral history, epic poems, and folk sayings about women's role in society.
The film undermines basic tenets of documentary work while expertly employing standard features of the documentary form such as first person narration, archival footage, and old photographs. A theoretically and formally complex work, SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM is one of the most radically inventive documentaries ever made.
Vietnamese and English with English subtitles.
With an introduction by Ricardo Leizaola.
Ricardo Leizaola is a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist specialising in visual anthropology. He teaches Ethnographic Film in the Visual Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London and is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University ofLondon.
April 30, 2014
London SE8 3PQ
*The film will be screened in its original 16mm format.
Free event. No ticket required.
This is an outdoor screening so bring a chair or blanket to sit on and whatever you need to stay warm and dry.
+ special discount on the day!!!
10% OFF on Vietnamese Take Away at
113 Deptford High Street, Deptford, SE8 4NS
- just round the corner from the Market Sq (pink doors)!
PASSWORD: SURNAME VIET!
Surname Viet Given Name Nam
Dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1989, USA, Cert U, 16mm, 108 mins