Fri 08 Mar 2013, 6 pm
Hanoi DocLab is pleased to present “Far from Vietnam” by various French directors such as Chris Marker, Jean Luc-Godard.
Necessarily dated but still a fascinating document, this collective protest against the Vietnam war begins with a graceful ballet of bomb-loading and take-off preparations aboard an American carrier, contrasted with shots of civilians in Hanoi hurrying to pathetically inadequate improvised shelters.
Suspected Vietcong sympathisers are beaten up; peace marchers in America are confronted by counter-demonstrators shouting ‘Bomb Hanoi!’; General Westmoreland appears reassuringly on TV to state that ‘Civilian casualties do not resultfrom our firepower; they result from mechanical errors’. All good, stirring stuff, edited into a remarkably coherent whole by Chris Marker. But the film goes on to probe the ambiguity behind the protest. Inherent throughout (but explicitly explored in fictional interludes directed by Renais and Godard) is the dilemma that, although this was ‘the first war everyone can watch’ and all of us were involved, the very remoteness (in every sense) of the conflict carried inevitable obfuscations. There is a certain amount of navel-gazing here, but at least the film acknowledges the sense of impotent frustration shared by many in trying to decide what to do.
The screening is non-profit and aims for research and studies only.
The film is in French with Vietnamese subtitle only.
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