YIDFF 2017 Encore Screenings Part 4
Screenings at the Yamagata Documentary Film Library present documentaries and movies rarely shown on television or in theaters, including works from the Film Library vaults.
14:00- 19:00-（screens twice）
YIDFF 2017 International Competition
Director: Philip Widmann / GERMANY / 2016／108 min
Tightly shut windows, a deserted corridor, and unused furniture. This house in Ninh Hoa, in southern Vietnam, still holds the memory of the family that once used to live here, but has since been sundered by the Vietnam War. In fact there are two houses: one where a serene daily life marks time, as work continues in the rice paddies to the cooing of birds. And there is another, new house, as well. As if the spirits of the dead have been summoned, this family split between Germany and Vietnam is reunited at the two houses for the first time in a long time, and tries to gather fragments of the missing from old letters and photos, and through communication with spirits via a medium. A family tale spun from the collective memories of three generations.
A House in Ninh Hoa shows a history of migration from the perspective of those who remained at home. Just like the vantage point, our constellation as author team is special: As a foreign body in the family ensemble, and likewise as a representative of the other life of their German relatives, together with Nguyễn Phương-Đan I cast a glance at the fragile transnational coexistence of his extended family. Not any less helpless than during my first visit in 2005, as I need constant language translation, but also as translator into the language of cinema.
With A House in Ninh Hoa, we are attempting a form of staging involving non-actors as an experimental approach in a documentary field: Together with the protagonists, we define the dramaturgy and framework of content, within which everyday life will be improvised in front of the camera. This makes it possible to extract the crux of everyday life and thereby also gradually bring the unvoiced or the implied parts of the family’s history into a comprehensible form. Necessarily, we forgo the peaks of dramaturgy–history rarely produces distinct waves on the water surface of family life. In the family house, time appears to be cyclical, hardly anything suggests a directness towards the past or the future.
The different forms of speech–daily dialogue, letters from another time, the written report of the quiet patriarch Ties, telephone conversations, and the official-socialist diction of the village radio–connect to a fragmented narration that deals with the evocative power of widely separated times, places and associated persons: 1975 and 2014, Ninh Hoa and Bonn, Vietnam and Germany, the world of the living and the world of the dead. Part of the trajectory of this potency: airplanes, mopeds, trains, letters, photographs, telephone calls, sacrificial offerings, dreams of and dialogue with the dead.
How to Behave
YIDFF ’91 The Asia Program
Director : Tran Van Thuy / VIETNAM / 1986 / 45 min
A documentary made in the tide of Vietnam’s own efforts at perestroika, this is ostensibly a film about civic behavior and personal morality. This surface theme masks the true intent of the filmmakers and that is to show the state of the country as it is–poor, director, Tran Van Thuy, believes that documentary filmmakers must reflect the true aspirations of the people. There is an intriguing scene in this film which captures this principle: as the filmmakers approach a brick factory, its owner rushes out cursing and threatening the crew: “I am sick of you film people…….you fabricate everything…….I dare you to show how we really live! Aren’t you ashamed of making it all up!” This scene alone is worth the price of entry.
Source：YIDFF ’91 Official Catalog
[Venue]The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library (Yamagata Big Wing 3F)[Admission]Free admission for members (Member’s fee: free)
[Presented by]YIDFF (NPO)
[Contact]e-mail：email@example.com (YIDFF Yamagata office)