On 21 June 2014, the opening of the 6th European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival was held at the Charlie Chaplin Hall at Hoa Sen University.
As in previous years, the Vietnamese National Studio for Documentary and Scientific Films was pleased to be the bridge linking nine countries, namely: Germany, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, Denmark, and Austria to the South East Asian countries, especially Vietnam.
On opening day, the first two films presented were: “When You Cannot Overcome Yourself” and “Forget Me Not” (Vergissmeinnicht). They provided the audience with interesting and original views on the human condition in the social stream.
“When You Cannot Overcome Yourself” is a 26-minute Vietnamese film directed by Trinh Quang Tung and Bui Thi Phuong Thao. The film addressed a most debilitating disease that can happen to anyone – mental illness. There may come a certain moment when people fail to overcome large shocks in their life; the shock that average and even smart people may have to live in another world someday– the world of people having a mental breakdown. Therefore, listening to and understanding these people should cause you to be more concerned about living better lives.
A similar topic as the above mentioned Vietnamese film is a German film entitled “Forget Me Not” (Vergissmeinnicht) directed by David Sieveking. The film specifically brought attention to a case of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. An open relationship, a marriage full of ups and downs and family conflicts were tactfully established by David Seiveking into a chronicle of a simple act of family affection where the son and other family members take care of the mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. With these first two films, the audience was certain to feel the focus of these indicating that these diseases sometimes might someday happen around or even to us.
The European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival was an event affirming the position of documentary films which have become a form of cinema with particular language, codes, and techniques that the Vietnamese audience should not be deprived of viewing. After five previous film festivals, this Sixth European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival was held at Hoa Sen University, Ho Chi Minh City, from 21 to 29 June 2014.
Recently, the international film festivals have established a sustainable position in the culture of film-watching in Vietnam and it has become a familiar annual meeting point for the international and Vietnamese audience who loves documentary films.
Reported by Cong Khanh
Translated into English by Le Thi Hanh