Surname Viet Given Name Nam
Les Blank Lecture
Tran Thi Hien, Khien Lai, Ngo Kim Nhuy,
“Unstable, like a hat without a chin strap,” goes a popular Vietnamese ballad, an image that resonates immediately with women, whether they are sampan rowers or doctors in postwar Vietnam. The tornado that was the American war swept up women along with men, but the peace was not kind to them; the erasure of the South only further erased women. “We are ghost women,” says one of those interviewed in Trinh T. Minh-ha’s 1989 film, which got exceedingly close to its subject(s) while continuing this artist’s almost cubist approach to documentary truth in restaged interviews and beautifully manipulated archival footage.