Trinh T. Minh-Ha: The Twofold Commitment
An inventive reimagining in book form of the revered filmmaker and theorist’s cinematic meditation on Vietnam’s origins
At once an artist's book and an interview collection by Vietnamese filmmaker, writer and feminist and postcolonial theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha (born 1952), The Twofold Commitment centers on Trinh’s 2015 feature film Forgetting Vietnam, which takes up one of the myths surrounding the creation of Vietnam: a fight between two dragons whose intertwined bodies fell into the South China Sea and formed Vietnam’s curving, S-shaped coastline. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war, the film draws inspiration from ancient legend to stage an ongoing contemporary conversation between land and water, creating a third space, another way, for historical and cultural re-memory.
This book features the film’s lyrical, essayistic script, along with rhythmically distributed movie stills. Expanding on this central focus is a series of conversations between the filmmaker and critics and film and sound studies scholars dating from 2016 to 2022, amplified by an index identifying key concepts and ideas in the artist’s work.