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Please Forgive Me (film)

Date: 1993

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Luu Trong Ninh

Confronting Bodies: Vietnamese Government

Dates of Action: 1993

Location: Vietnam

Description of Artwork: The film Please Forgive Me depicts the struggle of a soldier-turned-movie-producer trying to make a film glorifying Hanoi's war with the US by using Vietnamese actors and actresses born after the Communist victory in 1975. It explores the conflict between the older generation of Vietnamese, which romanticizes its role in "liberating" the country from foreign aggressors, and younger people, who are more fun- loving, consumer-oriented, and cosmopolitan. The older characters in the movie repeatedly criticize the country's youth for not appreciating the contribution of their parents generation, what they have bequeathed the country... "

The Incident: Please Forgive Me was screened untouched by censors, but it was later banned. "Ninh (the filmmaker) says he has been told he must cut four scenes before the movie can be shown again. Hano's keepers of artistic orthodoxy took umbrage because one of the characters declared that Vietnamese communist troops as well as US soldiers had commited acts of brutality during the war. Ninh also was asked to remove a scene in which a group of college students spoof the party's Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Association, declaring that it know longer exists in real life."

Results of Incident: Luu Trong Ninh is US$40,000 in debt due to a private loan taken out to produce the film, and therefore has stated that he will probably have to cut the scenes to lift the ban and repay his debts.

Source: Murray Hiebert, Far Eastern Economic Review, July 22, 1993, pg. 90