The Film Comment Podcast: In Conversation with Trinh T. Minh-ha
You may know Trinh T. Minh-ha from her groundbreaking films, like Reassemblage (1982) and Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989); her foundational books, like Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (1989) and When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender and Cultural Politics (1991); or her wide-ranging scholarship and multimedia projects, which have been presented at museums and institutions worldwide. In a body of work spanning decades, the multi-hyphenate theorist and artist has challenged and reshaped how we think of documentary, visual culture, feminism, nationalism, and race.
A new artist book by Trinh, titled The Twofold Commitment, traces all of these threads in her film Forgetting Vietnam, which was released in 2015, 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War. Published by Primary Information, the book features the film’s script, paired with creatively arranged stills, as well as conversations between Trinh and various scholars.
To mark the launch of The Twofold Commitment in May, Trinh joined us on the Podcast for a rich discussion about the genesis of the book; the different functions of voice, text, and image in her practice; how she turns familiarity and alienness into productive ways of looking at the world; and more.