The Story of Kindness
On his deathbed, the cameraman Đồng Xuân Thuyết asks his friends to do him a favor: they shall make a film on „Tử Tế“, the topic of kindness or – how to engage with one another. Shot just before the implementation of the economic „Đổi mới“ reforms of socialist Vietnam, the film critically comments on the human condition of the country at that time.
Trần Văn Thủy is an acclaimed Vietnamese documentary film director. He has directed more than twenty documentary films on a wide variety of themes. His work has often been a center of controversy in Vietnam; his 1982 film Hanoi In Whose Eyes, and his 1985 film The Story of Kindness were both banned for a number of years by the Vietnamese government because each had content that was implicitly critical of the regime.Nonetheless, due in large measure to the success of his work at international film festivals, Thủy was able to continue working for the Government Cinema department as a creator of greatly significant films, including A Story From the Corner of the Park (1996), and The Sound of a Violin at Mỹ Lai (1999).
The Story of Ones
The Story of Ones gives a face and a sense of place to the unseen and offers a personal counterpoint to the officially sanctioned. Like entering a roomful of stories, the viewer steps into an unfamiliar space guided only by the sound of the Vietnamese state radio tuning into lifestyle programming, call-in shows and radio dramas. Portraits of daily life are layered atop the aural landscape creating questions and humorous situations and offering the viewer whole new perspectives on what once seemed normal.
Pham Ngoc Lan was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. In 2009, he earned his Urban Planning Bachelor Degree in Hanoi Architecture University in Vietnam. Lan used video and photography to capture the whimsicality of human life. His interest lies in human relationships in urban settings, in which the cityscapes deeply affect people’s consciousness. Lan’s first film The Story of Ones (2011) was screened in numerous film festivals and art museums, including Visions du Reel (Switzerland), CPH-DOX (Denmark), New Cinema and Contemporary Art – Rencontres Internationales (France), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan). In 2012, he was invited to a Creators Residency Program in Hokkaido, Japan.
This screening programme is presented as part of MAP2: Communities, curated by Something Human and featuring artist Sung Tieu’s research process with the immigrant-rich area of Deptford in an artist residency programme that is based around the idea of the artist as living archivist of personal and collective memories. The residency provides an artist the opportunity to connect with the cultural communities in Deptford, London.
Artist Sung Tieu will develop over the one-month residency a writing project where she will spend time in the local shops, restaurants, parks and community centers in Deptford to engage with the local Vietnamese community by means of conversation. A vocal archive of memories will be created and developed through Tieu’s writing to create new works of prose. Tieu takes on the role of storyteller, alongside a self-reflexive consideration of her own positioning and the writing process itself. Engaging with her own migrant background the resulting texts will bring together the collective experiences of her and the people she will meet across first, second and younger generations, that would feed in towards her artistic process for creating performance.
With the kind support of