Woman, Native, Other | Trinh T Minh-ha Retrospective
“He belongs to that fraction of humanity which for centuries has made other fractions the objects of contempt and exploitation, then, when it saw the handwriting on the wall, set about to give them back their humanity.”
Trinh T Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and composer. Her practice centres around intersection of gender and colonialism. Her film work exposes the processes of othering and the politics of representation. She is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.
Women, Native, Other at the Pipe Factory will present two of Trinh T Minh-ha’s early film works in series. Poignant and at times disorientating, these early films not only demonstrate the beauty of film but also demand the viewer to question oneself, as spectator.
Reassemblage (7-10 October)
1982 | 40m (loop)
Women are the focus but not the object of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s influential first film, a complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Through a complicity of interaction between film and spectator, REASSEMBLAGE reflects on documentary filmmaking and the ethnographic representation of cultures.
“With uncanny eloquence, REASSEMBLAGE distills sounds and images of Senegalese villagers and their surroundings to reconsider the premises and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. By disjunctive editing and a probing narration this ‘documentary’ strikingly counterpoints the authoritative stance typical of the National Geographic approach.” — Laura Thielan
Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (8-15 October)
1989 | 1hr 48m (loop)
Of marriage and loyalty: “Daughter, she obeys her father/ Wife, she obeys her husband/ Widow, she obeys her son.”
This 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.