Overseas Vietnamese painter exhibits in Washington

A painting exhibition by an overseas Vietnamese has just opened at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in the U.S. capital.

The exhibition of works by Nuong Van-Dinh Tran is a combination of traditional Vietnamese and American artistic styles, most notably exhibited by “An Old Oak Tree in Winter.”

Born in Vietnam, Nuong and her family settled in the U.S. in 1950. She was initially trained at the Corcoran College of Art before receiving an MFA from George Washington University.

Her works have featured at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress fine prints collection, and at Moscow’s Pushkin Museum.

The Washington exhibition will close October 28.

Source: VNA

Vietnam Film Experts speaking at EWC Forum Advertiser Staff

Leading authors, filmmakers, and scholars of Vietnamese Cinema are speaking from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening at the East-West Center’s Art Gallery in Burns Hall. The panelists include the author, Ngo Phuong Lan, and co-editor, Philip Cheah, of “Modernity and Nationality in Vietnamese Cinema;” the Award-winning Vietnam filmmaker, Pham Nhue Giang; and Michael DiGregorio, PhD, Program Officer for Education, Media, Arts, and Culture with The Ford Foundation in Thailand and Vietnam.

This event showcases the USA book launching of “Modernity and Nationality in Vietnamese Cinema” (the English translation), which covers the history of Vietnam cinema and the roles that Vietnam’s culture, politics, and history play in the making of Vietnam feature-films.

Highlights from the upcoming Vietnam Film Symposium will also be shared.

After 22 years in Vietnamese prison, man reunites with son

police officer for the South Vietnamese Army, sent to a “re-education” camp by leaders of Vietnam’s new communist regime.

Phan’s father was released in 1982, but remained watched. When Ban Phan joined an anti-communist movement, he was re-arrested in 1985.

Vinh Phan followed in his father’s footsteps, earning his own stint in prison before he escaped and fled to Thailand. He was arrested and imprisoned there, but he was eventually pardoned. He and his mother came to Rockford in 1994.

Since then, Vinh Phan has worked for his father’s release, petitioning the United States government for its political clout.

In May, Vietnamese President Triet Nguyen granted Ban Phan a pardon, citing his age and a desire to be reunited with his family, according to an Associated Press story.

Ban Phan was expelled from Vietnam and told never to return. He went to Thailand, eventually seeing his son there. It was their first meeting in more than two decades.

“When I went to Thailand, he didn’t know me,” Vinh Phan said. Now 42, his face is finely lined from his own prison hardships and years of worrying for his father. “He was skinny. He looked like he was tired.”

Ban Phan had more challenges. The United States denied him entry into the country, believing he had tortured anti-communists while working as a police officer.

After months of petitioning the government with the help of Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers, the United States granted him one year’s stay in the country.

Vinh Phan found out this week his father would be coming home. He now has a year to figure out how to keep him here.

“I don’t know what I’ll do,” Vinh Phan said. “… I lost 22 years. Now I don’t want to let him go.”

Waiting
Vinh is still standing in the terminal when his friend, Phuc Nguyen, sees on the arrival board that American 154 has landed.

At the designated area, Vinh; his 9-year-old daughter, Kim; Nguyen; and Vinh’s father-in-law, Tham Le, wait anxiously.

Every few seconds, a knot of travelers walk through smoky glass doors separating the public from customs. Vinh scans every face, then peers through the doors. He stands at the front of a cordoned-off area near the arrival door, one of dozens awaiting a loved one.

Minutes tick by. Kim tries to be still, but her 9-year-old sensibilities take over. She wanders away from her dad, gliding around the terminal on her heelies, sneakers with roller skate wheels in the heel.

“She only knows she’s meeting her grandfather,” Vinh says. “She doesn’t know the rest.”

More waiting. Vinh stands on his tiptoes, peering across the crowds. It’s been an hour since American 154 hit the tarmac. For the first time, anxiety crawls across his face.

“I’m getting worried,” he says. “I don’t understand what’s taking so long.”

Now Vinh can’t be still.

He goes to a Transportation Security Administration employee, asking for help. He moves to the outside of the rope line, subconsciously creeping toward the door.

An hour and a half after his father’s plane lands, he learns it can take up to two hours for non-U.S. citizens to clear customs.

Vinh relaxes a notch and checks the time.

Then he spots a frail man with salt-and-pepper hair.

The happy reunion
Vinh excitedly squeezes his daughter’s shoulder and waves, a broad smile warming his face.

Ban Phan’s face is sunken with age. He is stooped and slight, but he’s gained weight since Vinh saw him in Thailand and is neatly dressed in a gray suit.

Father and son hug, and Kim shyly waves at her grandfather. Ban turns to his son, who nods: This is your granddaughter.

Ban Phan wraps the girl up in a hug. Pictures are snapped, then the family starts to make its way to the parking lot.

“He’s very happy to be in the United States,” says Nguyen, translating for Ban Phan. “He’s so happy to see his family.”

Ban Phan stops to pick up his luggage — a duffel bag and two lightly packed shopping bags — but is barely able to handle the load.

He waits only moments, however, before his son snatches the bags away.

Friday night, they eat as a family — father, mother, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and assorted friends.

Today, they start a new life that’s been 22 years in the making.

“I’m very happy my father is here,” Vinh Phan says as the family leaves the airport. “I’ve waited for so long. I never thought this would happen. I never thought I’d get him here.”

Staff writer Sean F. Driscoll can be reached at 815-987-1410 or sdriscoll@rrstar.com.

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SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM
Vinh Phan (center left), his daughter Kim Phan, 9, and friend Phuc Nguyen wait at the international terminal at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago for Phan’s father Ban Phan to arrive Oct. 19 after spending 22 years in a Vietnamese prison for taking part in anti-communist activities.

Father is ‘very happy to be in the U.S.’

Oct 19, 2007 @ 11:59 PM

By Sean F. Driscoll

RRSTAR.COM

CHICAGO -Travelers swirl through the international terminal at O’Hare, darting through exits and squinting at signs. A cacophony of different languages floats through the air, accompanied by a jazz duo playing lightly in the background.

In the middle of the hubbub, Vinh Phan stands serenely, his hands clasped in front of him, a polite smile on his face. He doesn’t want to sit, preferring instead to stretch his legs after the car ride from his Rockford home.

It’s shortly after 3 p.m. Friday. American Airlines flight 154 is running early on its 11-hour, 6,000-mile journey from Tokyo. It carries his 70-year-old father, Ban Phan, freed earlier this year after 22 years in a Vietnamese prison camp.

“I’m so happy,” Vinh says, speaking softly in broken English. “I didn’t think this would ever happen. Now I can reunite my family.”

‘He didn’t know me’

The Phans’ story begins in 1975, when a 9-year-old Vinh saw his father, then a police officer for the South Vietnamese Army, sent to a “re-education” camp by leaders of Vietnam’s new communist regime.

Phan’s father was released in 1982, but remained watched. When Ban Phan joined an anti-communist movement, he was re-arrested in 1985.

Vinh Phan followed in his father’s footsteps, earning his own stint in prison before he escaped and fled to Thailand. He was arrested and imprisoned there, but he was eventually pardoned. He and his mother came to Rockford in 1994.

Since then, Vinh Phan has worked for his father’s release, petitioning the United States government for its political clout.

In May, Vietnamese President Triet Nguyen granted Ban Phan a pardon, citing his age and a desire to be reunited with his family, according to an Associated Press story.

Ban Phan was expelled from Vietnam and told never to return. He went to Thailand, eventually seeing his son there. It was their first meeting in more than two decades.

“When I went to Thailand, he didn’t know me,” Vinh Phan said. Now 42, his face is finely lined from his own prison hardships and years of worrying for his father. “He was skinny. He looked like he was tired.”

Ban Phan had more challenges. The United States denied him entry into the country, believing he had tortured anti-communists while working as a police officer.

After months of petitioning the government with the help of Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers, the United States granted him one year’s stay in the country.

Vinh Phan found out this week his father would be coming home. He now has a year to figure out how to keep him here.

“I don’t know what I’ll do,” Vinh Phan said. “… I lost 22 years. Now I don’t want to let him go.”

Waiting
Vinh is still standing in the terminal when his friend, Phuc Nguyen, sees on the arrival board that American 154 has landed.

At the designated area, Vinh; his 9-year-old daughter, Kim; Nguyen; and Vinh’s father-in-law, Tham Le, wait anxiously.

Every few seconds, a knot of travelers walk through smoky glass doors separating the public from customs. Vinh scans every face, then peers through the doors. He stands at the front of a cordoned-off area near the arrival door, one of dozens awaiting a loved one.

Minutes tick by. Kim tries to be still, but her 9-year-old sensibilities take over. She wanders away from her dad, gliding around the terminal on her heelies, sneakers with roller skate wheels in the heel.

“She only knows she’s meeting her grandfather,” Vinh says. “She doesn’t know the rest.”

More waiting. Vinh stands on his tiptoes, peering across the crowds. It’s been an hour since American 154 hit the tarmac. For the first time, anxiety crawls across his face.

“I’m getting worried,” he says. “I don’t understand what’s taking so long.”

Now Vinh can’t be still.

He goes to a Transportation Security Administration employee, asking for help. He moves to the outside of the rope line, subconsciously creeping toward the door.

An hour and a half after his father’s plane lands, he learns it can take up to two hours for non-U.S. citizens to clear customs.

Vinh relaxes a notch and checks the time.

Then he spots a frail man with salt-and-pepper hair.

The happy reunion
Vinh excitedly squeezes his daughter’s shoulder and waves, a broad smile warming his face.

Ban Phan’s face is sunken with age. He is stooped and slight, but he’s gained weight since Vinh saw him in Thailand and is neatly dressed in a gray suit.

Father and son hug, and Kim shyly waves at her grandfather. Ban turns to his son, who nods: This is your granddaughter.

Ban Phan wraps the girl up in a hug. Pictures are snapped, then the family starts to make its way to the parking lot.

“He’s very happy to be in the United States,” says Nguyen, translating for Ban Phan. “He’s so happy to see his family.”

Ban Phan stops to pick up his luggage — a duffel bag and two lightly packed shopping bags — but is barely able to handle the load.

He waits only moments, however, before his son snatches the bags away.

Friday night, they eat as a family — father, mother, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and assorted friends.

Today, they start a new life that’s been 22 years in the making.

“I’m very happy my father is here,” Vinh Phan says as the family leaves the airport. “I’ve waited for so long. I never thought this would happen. I never thought I’d get him here.”

Staff writer Sean F. Driscoll can be reached at 815-987-1410 or sdriscoll@rrstar.com.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM
Vinh Phan and his daughter Kim Phan, 9, talk to officials Oct. 19 at the international terminal at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago as they inquire about Ban Phan’s arrival to the United States after spending 22 years in a Vietnamese prison for taking part in anti-communist activities.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM
Vinh Phan (right) and his daughter Kim Phan, 9, have their picture taken Oct. 19 with Phan’s father, Ban Phan, by friend Phuc Nguyen after the elder Phan’s arrival in the United States after spending 22 years in a Vietnamese prison for taking part in anti-communist activities.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM
Vinh Phan (center) watches as his father Ban Phan (right) leans in to hug his granddaughter Kim Phan, 9, as he meets her for the first time Oct. 19 after his arrival to the United States after spending 22 years in a Vietnamese prison for taking part in anti-communist activities.

HCM City’s cinemas ban children for the first time
17:24′ 19/10/2007 (GMT+7)

A scene in Ms. Muoi

VietNamNet Bridge – Today some cinemas in HCM City will introduce a US action film titled “Shoot’em up”, which is not for audiences of 16 years old and younger.

 

This is the first time cinemas in Vietnam have introduced a film that is not for children of less than 16 years old. According to the Vietnam Cinema Administration, this film has some scenes of violence that are not suitable for children.

 

However, some worry that as cinemas hang banners advertising this films with the words “Not for children of less than 16” children will be more curious to watch this film and this will also help speed up sales of illegal copies of this film.

 

This is the first test of cinemas controlling audiences based on their age.

 

If Shoot’em up is the first foreign film that is not for children of less than 16, Ms. Muoi will be the first domestic film with an age restriction.

 

Ms. Muoi will go to cinemas on December 12 and its advertising banners will also have “not for children of less than 16”.

 

The Vietnam Cinema Administration has recently introduced a draft regulation on film censorship, in which films are divided into two kinds: for audiences of over and under 16 years old.

 

The administration will collect opinions from film producers, experts, and related agencies about the draft regulation.

 

Some worry that if films are classified based on age, viewers will have to present ID cards at cinemas.

 

However, some film producers and directors support the draft regulation, and say that it is no problem to submit ID cards at cinemas and some countries do the same thing.

 

(Source: TP)

The return of Vietnam War films
12:14′ 20/10/2007 (GMT+7)

 

VietNamNet Bridge – Director Oliver Stone’s return to Vietnam in early September is not the only return to the theme of the Vietnam War by US film producers.

 

Films about the Vietnam War created the major line of Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s. It was literally “Good Morning Vietnam!” – as the name of the famous film suggests – but decades have passed and this war has become the concern of world movies again.

 

Americans have been involved in many wars in the world but the Vietnam War is the one that has left a syndrome of sorrow in the memories of many generations.

 

There is no country in the world that can compare to the US in making films about war. For each war of the US, Hollywood often tells stories about that war, and in these films, the US often plays the role of the just peace maker. But films about the Vietnam War seem to be different.

 

After the US entered Vietnam till just before 1975, most American people didn’t know the real motivation for and the situation of this war. Hollywood was also the same for nearly 10 years.

 

In 1968, when the Mau Than event shook the US public, Hollywood produced a film to calm down the boiling public – “The Green Berets” – to embellish the image of US soldiers in Vietnam. Hollywood kept quiet till April 30, 1975.

 

In 1978, Hollywood introduced two films, “Coming Home” and “The Deer Hunter”, about tragedy in the lives of American veterans.

 

“Platoon” by Oliver Stone, which won four Oscars in 1986, pointed out part of the truth about the Vietnam War, opening a movement of making films about the Vietnam syndrome.

 

After that, many films about this theme were produced, attracting the world’s attention, including “Full Metal Jacket”, “Good Morning Vietnam!”, “Hamburger Hill”, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Casualties of War”.

 

Films about war often exist for only a short period of time, but it is different for films about the Vietnam War, which existed from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

 

The revenue failure of “Heaven & Earth”, produced in 1993 by Oliver Stone, who stirred the movement of making films about the Vietnam War, closed a successful age of this theme.

 

Now, when Vietnam and the US are getting closer and the wound of war is being healed, why is the theme of Vietnam becoming “hot” again?

 

The answer comes from the Iraq War, which has been burning in daily news bulletins of the world for the past five years. The involvement of the US in this war shows something similar to the image and position of the US in the Vietnam War nearly 40 years ago.

 

The difference is, in the age of information, war participants cannot hide anything. But anyways, war is the worst thing.

 

Hollywood timely raises its voice by producing films on the Iraq War but most of them haven’t attracted audience attention.

 

The return of US film producers to the Vietnam theme is to add one voice to the line of films on war in the world now.

 

Actually, the topic on Vietnam War is never exhausted and outdated because it is part of history. But the importing thing here is how to approach this old but new topic.

 

Before the “Quiet American” was shot in Vietnam, two big film projects were also licenced to be shot in the country, “The Other War” and “Field of Fire”.

 

The first tells the story about the last day of a US veteran, Frank Verchek, in Vietnam as an adviser. It is interesting that all characters in this film are still alive. But because of financial problems, this project has not been implemented yet.

 

The second film is based on a novel of the same name by James Webb, a current senator in the US. However, the failure in terms of revenue of “Heaven & Earth” has made investors hesitant to invest in this film.

 

James Webb has been calling for investment in this project for nearly 10 years. In 2002, a company named RKO agreed to produce this film, with Jamusz Kaminsky as the director. As everything was being wrapped up, the Iraq War broke out and this project was delayed.

 

This year, besides “Pinkville” by Oliver Stone, Director Jon Amiel came to Vietnam to survey before shooting a film named “The Fall of Saigon”.

 

In 2008, a $30 million project named “Long Tan” by an Australian director, Bruce Beresford, will be implemented. This film describes a battlefield in Long Tan village in Vietnam.

 

An overseas Vietnamese director, Quan Lelan, lost the largest opportunity in his life 15 years ago when his first film about Vietnam was cancelled at the last minute because of the failure of the “Heaven & Earth” film.

 

Another Vietnamese American director, Tran Anh Hung, is dreaming of making a film about the Vietnam War.

 

Director Luu Huynh of Vietnam is also dreaming similarly. He is considering a script about the war.

 

Today, Vietnamese or foreign film producers who want to make films about the Vietnam War are not trying to recall the past but to look towards the future.

 

(Source: Dep)