Film Screening:
Surname Viet, Given Name Nam

Documentary. 1989.
Written and directed by Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Get over to the Austin Film Society to catch Trinh T. Minh-ha's SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM. As part of our current exhibition’s programming, the Austin Film Society and The Contemporary are partnering together to present three films echoing the impact of storytelling.

Pioneering film essayist Trinh T. Minh-ha’s monumental work about gender, language, ethnicity, belonging, and society invoked the necessity of intersectionality before the term was coined. Using a mix of testimonial, archival footage, recreations, and unconventional approaches to linear editing, Trinh creates a space for the voices of Vietnamese women to describe, tell and perform their stories in the contexts of repressive customs, war, and persistent colonialism. An essential work of modern feminist cinema, presented in partnership with Vietnamese-born Trinh T. Minh-ha’s profoundly personal documentary explores the role of Vietnamese women historically and in contemporary society. Using dance, printed texts, folk poetry and the words and experiences of Vietnamese women in Vietnam—from both North and South—and the United States, Trinh’s film challenges official culture with the voices of women. A theoretically and formally complex work, SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM explores the difficulty of translation, and themes of dislocation and exile, critiquing both traditional society and life since the war.

Thank you to our co-presenting partner the Austin Film Society. Other screenings presented in partnership with the Austin Film Society this season include: