On 22 and 23 November the International Joris Ivens Symposium in Hanoi brought together a wonderful mix of Vietnamese film veterans, who had collaborated with Joris Ivens and his wife in the 1960s and a group of film scholars from Canada, USA, Indonesia, Australia, France, China and The Netherlands.

The atmosphere completely fitted the 'combative and tender' character which Joris Ivens noticed when he entered Vietnam in 1965. This spirit resulted in much press attention in newspapers and the national TV channels and inspired others to create new plans and projects about Ivens. The Symposium, organized by the Vietnam Film Institute in conjunction with the European Foundation Joris Ivens, started with the screening of the documentary Joris Ivens and Vietnam, made by the VFI. The inaugural session was opened by director Mr. Hung of the Vietnam Film Institute. The new Vice-minister of Culture of Vietnam attended this inaugural session as well as the Dutch Ambassador Mrs. Elsbeth Akkerman, who spoke about the importance of Ivens' filmwork. During the two days the passionate and emotional testimonies of the Vietnamese filmmakers war veterans were the most  impressive. Feature film director and peoples artist Mr. Bui Dinh Hac told stories about the dangerous situations in which The 17th Parallel was made and the courage of the cameramen.  Ms. Xuan Phuong, Ivens' personal assistance, told with her vivid memory anecdotes about  Ivens and the impact Ivens had on herself as well as the campaigns to support the Vietnamese in their struggle for independence. Well known film director Dang Nhat Minh explained why Ivens' direct film style influenced him and others in Vietnam.  Mr. Nguyen Nhu Vu, director of the documentary film studio, where Ivens worked at the time, had a scoop about the discovery in Paris of the most important film footage of the declaration of independence on 2 September 1945 by Ho Chi Minh, in which Ivens played a role. Film director, Mr. Pham Viet Tung, explained why the gift by Ivens of two film cameras supported the creation of the Vietnamese documentary film industry. Mr. To Hoang told in detail about the military circumstances in which Ivens made his film in Vinh Linh. Mr. Pham Hong Thang gave an overview of the history of Vietnamese documentary.

The diversity of subjects on which the international film scholars lectured, proofed again the scope of Ivens'film oeuvre both geographical as well as historical and artistic. The Komintern as an quintessential commissioner of a world style in documentary film classics on a world scale (Jane Gaines), the unfinsihed decolonisation of Indonesia (Ariel Heryanto), the relationship between the Western and Chinese Avant-garde (Luo Liang), the influence of Indonesia Calling in Australia (John Hughes), the interelationships between politcis and poetry in Ivens'film oeuvre (André Stufkens), the evolvement of solidarity between the Netherlands and Vietnam, starting with Ivens films (Ad Spijkers), and the role of gender, genre and technology in Ivens' Indochina chapter (Thomas Waugh). 

Next to lectures the new documentary film Marceline. A Woman. A Century by film dircetor Cordelia Dvorak, was shown. 

The VFI published a catalogue on Ivens, a booklet about the symposium and the book Joris Ivens and Vietnam. The sympsoium was covered by the national TV Channels in their news bulletins, in the TV Programme Culture Mosiac and the popular talkshow Talk Vietnam with millions of spectators.

A special thanks to Mrs. Hoang Mai (International department of the Vietnam Film Instute), Mr. Ad (Adrian) Spijkers (advisor of the Ivens Foundation and the MCNV) and his wife Loc Nhan (Nhan Loc Bui) who started this collaboration in March 2016 and spent much time, expertise and energy in the success of this partnership.

The item on Ivens of the TV programme Culture Mosaic:

A group photo of  Vietnamese film war veterans and lecturers mrs. Xuan Phong, Mr. Duc, Mr. Pham Viet Tung, former Vietnamese ambassadors in The Netherlands,
filmscholars Luo Liang, Jane Gaines, Thomas Waugh, Ariel and Surjanti Heryanto, John and Caroline Hughes, director of the Vietnam Film Institute Mr. Vu Nguyen Hung, former director of the Vietnam
Film Institute and chair prof. Tran Luan Kim, film director and Peoples Artist Dang Nhat Minh, director of the National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio and Peolples Artist Mr. Nguyen Nhu Vu, 
filmmakers Nguyen Van Vinh and Nguyen Van Nhan, Mr. Pham Hong Thang, head of script department (NDaSFS), cultura attaché of the French Embassy Frédéric Alliod, Mr. Anthony Liem, historian in Sydney (initiator of Black Armada),
film students of the Theater and Film Academy in Hanoi, keynote speaker Ad Spijkers and his wife Nhan Loc Bui, who together with mrs. Hoang Mai contributed enormously to the success of this symposium, and Harko Wubs, filmmaker and André Stufkens from the European Foundation Joris Ivens.

Mrs. Elsbeth Akkerman, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, during her speech of the inaugural session of the symposium.

The conference room.

Next to the Vice-minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the middle sits the head of the International cooperation department, mrs. Nguyen Phuong Hoa and mr. Vu Nguyen Hung,
director of the Vietnam Film Institute.

A group photo of several film veterans like mrs. Xuan Phong and mr. Phan Viet Tung, filmscholars like Jane Gaines, Thomas Waugh, Luo Liang, former director of the Vietnam
Film Institute and chair prof. Tran Luan Kim, film students, keynote speaker Ad Spijkers and filmmakers like mr. Nguyen Van Vinh.

Prof. Ariel Heryanto of Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) speaking about the unfinished decolonisation of Indonesia.

The conference room.
Chair and former director of the Vietnam Film Institute prof. Tran Luan Kim.   Prof. Thomas Waugh, writer of the award winning book The Conscience of Cinema. The Works of Joris Ivens.
Mr. Anthony Liem from Sydney, speaking about Ivens'film Indonesia Calling.      André Stufkens, speaking about art & politics.

Famous film director and Peoples Artist Dang Nhat Minh (left) and        Mr. Ad Spijkers, speaking about 50 years of solidarity between The Netherlands and Vietnam.
the director of the National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio and Peolples Artist Mr. Nguyen Nhu Vu,

Filmmaker Harko Wubs (European Foundation Joris Ivens) filming Mr. Duc, who appeared in The 17th Parallel and tells about the underground tunnel in Vinh Linh
where Joris Ivens and his wife Marceline Loridan-Ivens stayed for five weeks in June/July 1967

Group photo at the Hien Luong Bridge, the border between North- and South Vietnam during the American War. This bridge in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone, which was in fact the most devastated and bombed area), can be seen in the opening sequence of Ivens' The 17th Parallel as well as the flag at the background.



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