An Academy Salute to Director Dang Nhat Minh

Presented as part of the “New Voices from Vietnam” Screening Series

Dang Nhat Minh

Presented in association with the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of the film series “New Voices from Vietnam.”

Hosted by Phil Robinson, Academy governor and International Outreach Committee chair

Featuring an onstage conversation with Dang Nhat Minh and discussion with visiting Vietnamese directors Phan Dang Di (“Bi, Don’t Be Afraid”), Nguyen Quang Binh (“Floating Lives”), Nguyen Vinh Son (“The Moon at the Bottom of the Well”), Bui Thac Chuyen (“Adrift”), Le Thanh Son (“Clash”) and Stephane Gauger (“Owl and the Sparrow”).

As a continuation of the Academy’s program of ongoing educational and cultural exchange with Vietnamese film artists, the Academy partnered with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to present a series of new feature films, shorts and documentaries from these exceptional filmmakers.

All of the directors whose features were screened took part in an Academy salute to the legendary Dang Nhat Minh, director of such classic Vietnamese films as The Love Doesn’t Come Back (1984), Nostalgia for the Countryside (1996) and Vietnam’s 2009 entry to the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award competition, Don’t Burn. Clips from films in the “New Voices from Vietnam” series were also presented.

Followed by a screening of

“The Guava House” (Mua oi) Vietnam/France (2000)

Directed by Dang Nhat Minh

A middle-aged man whose emotional and mental development ended at adolescence becomes obsessed with a guava tree in the yard of his former childhood home. When he is arrested trying sneak into the yard, he forms a unique relationship with the daughter of the home’s current resident. 100 mins.

Special guests: Dang Nhat Minh, Phan Dang Di, Nguyen Quang Binh, Nguyen Vinh Son, Bui Thac Chuyen, Le Thanh Son and Stephane Gauger.

Event Information

Wednesday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

New Voices from Vietnam

Friday, November 5 through Sunday, November 14 at the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater

Presented in association with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Freer & Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution and the Vietnam Cinema Department. Special thanks to Mike DiGregorio, former program officer for the Ford Foundation’s media program in Vietnam.

All films from Vietnam, except where noted, in Vietnamese with English subtitles.

Click on a film title for a full synopsis

Friday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Bi, Don’t Be Afraid! (Bi, dung so!) Vietnam/France/Germany (2010), directed by Phan Dang Di.

In Phan Dang Di’s impressive debut, six-year-old Bi’s Hanoi family strains under emotional disconnection. As Bi’s alcoholic father conducts an affair, his neglected mother represses her sorrow and his aunt romantically pursues a teenage boy. But when Bi’s sick and long-absent grandfather moves in, his home life assumes a new emotional center. 90 mins.

Preceded by: Fading Light (2010), directed by Thien Do. 20 mins.
In Person: Phan Dang Di, Thien Do.

Saturday, November 6, at 2 p.m.

Documentary Film Program:

Mother and Daughter (2010), directed by Phan Huyen My.

Caught between her tradition and the rapidly changing social expectations of modern Vietnamese teenagers, a mother battles her daughter’s willful behavior while caring for her own aging mother in a small urban apartment. 23 mins.

Thanh Cong Ward (2004), directed by Phan Thi Vang Anh.

In an old district of Hanoi, the neighborhood authority must maintain the numerous loudspeakers that issue civic information and directives to the public. This short documentary offers a humorous look into the government’s intervention into the every day lives of ordinary people. 32 mins.

Grandfather and Grandson (2006), directed by Nguyen Thi Tham.

In a small village, a teenage boy casually reflects on his life of menial farm labor and big spending at nightclubs, a lifestyle in stark contrast to that of his elderly grandfather who fixates on family traditions and rituals. 28 mins.

Saturday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Floating Lives (2010), directed by Nguyen Quang Binh.

Vietnamese martial arts star (and former 21 Jump Street co-star) Dustin Nguyen delivers a dramatic performance as a man whose hatred for the wife who abandoned him and their two young children poisons all their lives. But when the brother and sister, as teenagers, take in a prostitute (Do Thi Hai Yen) they rescue from an angry mob, long simmering family tensions finally reach the breaking point. 100 mins.

Preceded by: Dog Day (2010), directed by Phan Xine.21 mins.
In person: Nguyen Quang Binh, actor Dustin Nguyen, actress Do Thi Hai Yen, Phan Xine. Hosted by producer Bill Horberg

Sunday, November 7, at 7 p.m.

The Moon at the Bottom of the Well(Trang noi day gieng) (2008), directed by Nguyen Vinh Son.

In a rural village, schoolteacher Hanh shares a childless and unconventional marriage with her husband Phuong, the school principal, who, with Hanh’s assent, has sired children with a second wife. When their secret comes to light, the ensuing scandal drives Hanh to desperate measures, revealing the force of Vietnam’s social strictures and the pitfalls of compassion. 121 mins.

In person: Nguyen Vinh Son.

Friday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Adrift (Choi voi) Vietnam/France (2009), directed by Bui Thac Chuyen.

Newlywed Duyen’s hopes for the future are dashed when her new husband proves unable to consummate their marriage. Duyen (Do Thi Hai Yen) confides in her girlfriend Cam, who steers her to a mysterious, handsome suitor and Duyen is forced to reconsider long-cherished notions of love, family and fulfillment. Bui Thac Chuyen’s impressive second feature is a sensuous, provocative study of identity in modern Hanoi. 101 mins.

Preceded by: New Year’s Eve Has Passed (2006), directed by Bui Kim Qui. 9 mins.
In person: Bui Thac Chuyen, “Adrift” screenwriter Phan Dang Di, actress Do Thi Hai Yen. Hosted by visual effects artist Richard Edlund

Saturday, November 13, at 2 p.m.

Documentary Film Program

Daddy’s Home (2004), directed by Doan Gia Man.

A heartbreaking story captured in a lovely cinema-verité style, this film observes the struggles of a poor farmer forced to try his luck as a day laborer on the harsh streets of Hanoi, far from his wife and children. 25 mins.

I Dream to Be a Worker (2006), directed by Tran Phuong Thao.

Huge multi-national corporations are building factories in Vietnam and cheap labor must be found to work them. In this startlingly honest film, young women from the countryside live in workers’ shacks in the shadows of giant industrial plants, sharing their lives of long hours and brutal disappointment. 47 mins.

My Apartment Block (2009), directed by Trinh Dinh Le Minh.

As capitalism comes to Vietnam, one group of neighbors in a collectively owned building debate the ramifications of selling out to a foreign company, a move that would drastically alter their community and the economic relationships between them. 56 mins.

Saturday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Clash (Bay rong) (2009), directed by Le Thanh Son.

A recent hit in Vietnam, this action-packed genre spectacle pairs “The Rebel” co-stars Johnny Tri Nguyen and Ngo Thanh Van for a martial arts blow-out. Beautiful mercenary Trinh must perform a series of missions for her crime lord boss to save her kidnapped daughter. Complications set in when she falls for fellow mercenary Quan, whose hidden agenda threatens her own. Superb choreography and photography grace this impressive feature debut. 90 mins.

Preceded by: I Love Vietnam (2009), directed by Nguyen Tien Dung. 7 mins.
In person: Le Thanh Son. Hosted by producer Bill Mechanic

Sunday, November 14, at 7 p.m.

Owl and the Sparrow Vietnam/USA (2007), directed by Stephane Gauger.

A runaway on the streets, ten-year-old Thuy wanders the city selling roses to make a living. In her daily travels, she meets a lonesome flight attendant and a reclusive zookeeper, and schemes to form a match and possibly a new family. Gauger’s tender story is marked by arresting glimpses of hardscrabble life on the streets of Saigon. 98 mins.

Preceded by: The Terrace (2006), directed by Nguyen Ha Phong. 11 mins.
In person: Stephane Gauger. Hosted by documentary filmmaker Freida Lee Mock


Event Information

Friday, November 5, through Sunday, November 14
UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater
Hammer Museum, Courtyard Level
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
At the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Blvds.
Fading Light

Fading Light

Grandfather and Grandson

Grandfather and Grandson

The Moon at the Bottom of the Well

The Moon at the Bottom of the Well

Don't Show Again