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November 2001, Week 1


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Ryan Krivoshey <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Nov 2001 11:05:56 -0500
text/plain (68 lines)
Dear List Members,

First Run / Icarus Films would like to bring to your attention a new 
documentary film on the birth of Vietnamese cinema that we believe would be 
of interest to you.

If you would like more information on this film, please feel free to 
contact me at the email address or phone number provided below.

Thank you.


Ryan Krivoshey


A Film by Claude Grunspan

The war in Vietnam was the most filmed conflict in world history. But, 
unlike the thousands of Western journalists, a small band of North 
Vietnamese and NLF cameramen has largely been forgotten, though they 
founded Vietnamese cinema.

GAO RANG (meaning grilled or burnt rice) tells the story of these 
cameramen/soldiers. In their own words, they describe their experiences 
filming in combat, first against the French and later the Americans.

Mai Loc and Khoung MÍ, two veterans from the French war, tell of acquiring 
the first cameras and instruction manuals. Mr. Xuong, a traveling 
projectionist during both wars, recalls projecting films along the 17th 
Parallel, and remembers how the public reacted to the films.

Tran Van Thuy (director of HOW TO BEHAVE, also distributed by First 
Run/Icarus Films) and LÍ Man Thich (Director at the Studio for Documentary 
Films in Hanoi) screen some of the material that they shot. They describe 
the hardship and fear they faced in combat and during American bombings. 
For all of them, "to make propaganda was obvious." But they also discuss 
their regrets. Thuy says "If we had had a more critical historical 
awareness, we could have left much better images." Their films give the 
impression that everything was easy. They didn't film enough of the hard 
daily life, and regret the many "heroic deaths that were not filmed." It 
would have been "useless," the footage would not have been used.

Today, much of the footage these cameramen and their comrades shot is 
disappearing. The cost of preserving and storing the film is too expensive. 
Their history (and part of ours) is being "recycled" for a few bits of silver.

For more information on GAO RANG:

For information on other documentary films about Asia or cinema history, 
please visit our web site at:

Ryan Krivoshey
First Run / Icarus Films
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel. 718-488-8900
Fax. 718-488-8642
Email: [log in to unmask]

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