The influence of Hollywood on many young film-makers in Vietnam is creating styles that revolved around commercial aspects, Vietnamese film-maker Dang Minh Nhat has said.

Speaking at Monday’s ‘In-conversation’ segment with journalist Aruna Vasudev, he valiantly attempted to carry forward the discussion in English but was far more comfortable in French, which, he said, was the one the older generation of his country used.

His film, When the tenth month comes, was featured in the Country Focus: Vietnamese Cinema package. It was a trademark work portraying the impact of war on family relationships. “I hardly look into the frontline of the conflict but I have seen first-hand how much it has torn apart individuals and whole communities. Anguish and pain rested on the shoulders of so many women and children,” Mr. Nhat said. He said he had experienced a degree of solitude in his life which tends to get reflected in his works. “They work for money and many private producers support only these commercial films and the art house ones go largely overlooked,” said Mr. Nhat.

Good vs. bad

He went on to speak about the content of Hollywood films that focussed on the war during the 1960s and 70s, an extension of the Cold War between the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union. “Most of the Hollywood productions are about how good the Americans were and they paint the people here as the villains,” he said.

He said film festivals were a ‘good occasion,’ where films like his could reach a wider audience and he hoped that he might catch the eye of an Indian producer interested in investing in his future projects.

With commerce becoming the driving force for arts as well, the film-maker said the State should support artists like him who strived hard to guard the essence of their culture without letting in the ‘mainstream fluff.’

Keywords: IFFK 2012