LSC Event Descriptions

March 11, 2006

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102 minutes

A FREE screening and discussion with director Nghiem-Minh Mguyen-Vo:
Buffalo Boy (Mua len trau) (2004)
March 11, 2006 at 7:00pm in 10-250.

Set in the lowlands of South Vietnam during the French occupation in 1940, Buffalo Boy's protagonist is the teenager Kim whose father puts him in charge of herding two starving buffaloes towards the mountains and pastures of Ba-the, outside of the flooded terrain in the lowlands. Through his journey, Kim encounters violence as well as comradeship with other buffalo herders. The voyage itself becomes a metaphor for a rite of passage from the innocence of youth to a world of harshness, alcohol consumption and guarded relationships. Indeed, water itself becomes a metaphor and visual device for life and its particular force. Minh Nguyen-Vo's debut feature film is a telling example of post-war Vietnamese cinema that is slowly finding a voice in addressing social issues within the country. Winner of the Silver Hugo Award for Best New Director at the 40th Chicago International Film Festival. []

The screening will be followed by a discussion with acclaimed director Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo. Admission is free.

"This beautiful film offers a rare, poetic glimpse of life in rural Vietnam during the French occupation."
      -- Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide. Read this review.

About the Director: Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo was raised in a rural area much like Buffalo Boy's terrain. His parents ran a tiny, one-room cinema, and he grew up watching anything they could get to sell tickets. The movies, he recalls, "made an escape from atrocity of the world for an hour or two, and a window on the world." Nguyen-Vo studied engineering in France and earned a Ph.D. in applied physics from UCLA in 1984. He was reportedly fascinated with the interaction between sound and light in physics, and he subsequently obtained a diploma in cinema and new media at UCLA Extension. After directing a short film and a documentary, he participated in the Independent Feature Project West's Screenwriters Lab with his script for Buffalo Boy, which is his first feature film.

Co-sponsored by the MIT Vietnamese Students Association and The Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education.

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