New rural image through Vietnamese documentaries

November 15, 2007

New rural image through Vietnamese documentaries


A scene in the film ‘Salt Making’.

Nhan Dan  -Vietnamese farmers, after years of renewal, not only depend on farming work but also are more concerned about daily changing life.

The portrait of the new life and changes of land and people in the countryside have been mentioned in many documentaries. The themes are varied, from the hard life of farmers, their spiritual life to cultural activities of the peasants.

The market economy with many achievements has vitalised the whole society. However, it also has an adverse effect on the life of people in the countryside. The land and people have not yet adapted to mechanisation, modernisation and planning. The film ‘Ky su dong que’ (Chronicle of Countryside) by late director Phung Ty, or ‘Chuyen Lang Te’ (Story on Te Village) by Lam Quang Ngoc touches upon the survival of farmers –land and field. Film makers have affirmed the contributions by farmers to national economic development, while showing them solutions for high yield rice plants during their works such as ‘Vi Chat Luong Hat Gao Viet Nam’ (For the Quality of Vietnamese Rice), ‘Chuyen Nong Dan’ (Farmers’ Story) etc…

Not only living on rice and field, many people in the countryside preserve and develop traditional handicrafts. These efforts have also been mentioned in documentaries, such as ‘Ngoai O’ (Suburb) by Lai Van Sinh.  

The film ‘Nghe Muoi’ (Salt Making) deals with the feelings of the salt makers. The film, edited by Phan Huyen Thu and directed by Tran Phi, brings emotion to  audience when it describes the sea farmers.

Not only reflecting what’s happening, film makers realised the inner world of the reality . The film ‘Chon Que’ (Countryside) by Nguyen Sy Chung reflects tragedy of life in many rural areas where people have to go to cities to earn their living. But later on some of them have become drug addicts.

The film ‘Lang Dan Ong’ (Men’s Village) describes a bad habit of a number of men who put all burden onto women. This threatens the disintegration of tradition of Vietnamese families during the country’s development process.

Cultural activities have also been seen through the film ‘Ken Dong’ (Brass panpipe). The films reflects the farmers’ effort to preserve their cultural identity.

Vietnamese rural areas have been described vividly in many documentaries, expressing the film makers’ concern for farmers and the countryside.

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