I Died for Beauty

Nguyễn Trinh Thi

This video is no longer available

Staff Picks I Died for Beauty
Nguyễn Trinh Thi

8 Minutes

Staff Picks

August 1–31, 2022

Set in a factory in Asia during an undefined celebration event, Europeans in suits are seen in long wandering shots as they greet one another, shake hands discreetly, and look about themselves expectantly. Further into this ambiguous opening, and propelled by classical Western opera and symphonic orchestrations, Asian workers are observed putting finishing touches of paint and polish onto gleaming surfaces of what will soon be on display in motorbike showrooms. The images and music are sharply punctuated by the abrupt and raw intrusions of live factory sounds that conclude in a jarring visual exclamation, exhuming the verses of an Emily Dickinson poem and laying them out in a contemporary and globalized context.

Fifth Cinema (2018, 56 minutes) is presented on e-flux Video & Film alongside I Died for Beauty (2012, 8 minutes) as the August 2022 edition of Staff Picks, featuring filmmaker Nguyễn Trinh Thi.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Film, Labor & Work
Southeast Asia, Documentary, Rituals & Celebrations, Video Art
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Nguyễn Trinh Thi is a Hanoi-based filmmaker and artist, a founder of the documentary video organization DocLab in Hanoi. In her films and installations Nguyễn examines issues concerning society and history—especially the complex, traumatic history of her home country Vietnam and its after-effects in the present. Nguyen uses montage to compose her work, drawing on different image media, from her own audio and visual recordings to found footage and still images from postcards, photography, newsreels, Hollywood films and ethnographic footage.


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