The films are on a variety of topics, from 20th-century Vietnamese patriot Phan Chau Trinh to the tragic battle against cancer waged by a young girl living in a rural area.
Nine out of 10 Vietnamese documentary films shown at the festival were produced by the National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio, including “Beloved Gianh River”, “Patriot Phan Chau Trinh”, and “Postpartum depression”.
The Vietnamese award-winning documentary “Remember: You Are Alive” opened the festival late last month in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Directed by Doan Hong Le, the film won a Golden Kite Award in 2018 from the Vietnam Cinema Association for best documentary and best documentary director. The 27-minute film tells the story of an anonymous rural girl who summons the courage to face a tragedy in her life — cancer. It is a story about love, life, and death.
"Domestic documentaries have gotten better and better as the directors have changed their mindset. Instead of using a lot of narrations, newer documentaries allow their characters to speak up and hold the audience’s interest throughout the story. While this approach is not appropriate in all cases, it has had a positive impact and has made it easier for the audience to absorb the message," Trinh Quang Tung, Deputy Director of the National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio, told VOV.
“Patriot Phan Chau Trinh” depicts the life of scholar Phan Chau Trinh of the Duy Tan patriotic movement in the early 20th century. “Story of the Monochord” describes the origin and development of the Vietnamese monochord zither.
“A solution for controlling coastal erosion” by Director Phung Ngoc Tu won a best documentary film Golden Kite Award in 2017.
"The film tells the story of ecological havoc created by giant dams, deforestation, and over-exploitation of natural resources in the Mekong Delta. It features all aspects of the daily life in the region, simple yet beautiful, and how all of it is being destroyed by climate change and pollution caused by humans. It’s a great opportunity for young directors like me to take part in the festival and learn from colleagues from countries with more developed cinematography," said young director Phung Ngoc Tu.
"We’ve learned a lot from foreign documentaries and will change for the better by finding new ways to approach and tell the story in our documentaries. All the movies here are of very high quality, a new wave of documentary filmmaking in Vietnam," said Trinh Quang Tung.
Within the framework of the festival, four films by Vietnamese independent filmmakers will be featured in a separate show this Sunday.
This festival has once again highlighted the importance of documentary films, a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purpose of education or maintaining a historical record.