Southeast Asia Onscreen

Here’s a list of films about Vietnam, by foreign and Vietnamese directors.  I’ve provided links to trailers or poignant clips where possible.

Films about Vietnam

A Dream in Hanoi–An American theatre company and a Vietnamese theatre company collaborate on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Indochine–You might start out thinking this is just another colonial-era love story starring Catherine Deneuve and Vincent Perez but it’s actually an historically accurate depiction of the Communist struggle in 1930s Vietnam.  Parts of it were filmed just outside of Hanoi, in Halong Bay and Hue, the old Imperial capital.  It’s phenomenal.

L’Amant/The Lover–Possibly the most erotic film I’ve ever seen, L’Amant is based on Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel of the same name.  The film chronicles The Girl’s sexual awakening in early 20th century Saigon.  It was the first French film filmed on location in Vietnam.

Mai’s America–A PBS documentary about a Vietnamese girl (from Hanoi!) studying in Mississippi for a year during high school.  The film touches on Vietnamese perceptions of America, American perceptions of Vietnam, Vietnamese living in America and traveling back to Vietnam, Mai’s parents’ expectations of her and Mai’s sexual identity.  The film is short so it doesn’t probe any of those topics deeply enough but Mai is a lovable narrator and it’s interesting to watch her navigate America.  The entire film is available on youtube.

The Vietnam War/The American War

Apocalypse Now–

Southeast Asia, General

The Killing Fields–

Anna and the King–


2 thoughts on “Southeast Asia Onscreen

  1. You should check out Vertical Ray of the Sun. This is the warmest and most accessible of the director’s works (although I have not seen Norweigan Wood and it is one of my most memorable novels).

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