Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trinh T. Minh-ha

Trinh T. Minh-ha's Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) is one of the most radically inventive documentaries ever made. The film undermines basic tenets of documentary work (instead of "real" interviews, several Vietnamese women actors living in the United States woodenly recite their assigned parts: transcribed interviews of other women who are never seen on screen) while expertly employing standard features of the documentary form such as first person narration, archival footage, and old photographs. The disruptions stemming from the Vietnam War underlie the documentary, even when the actors begin to talk about their lives and surrealistically reflect on their roles for the film.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.