I Died For Beauty

By Nguyen Trinh Thi

Vietnam | In English | 2012 | 8 min 23 sec | G

 

The film’s title is a reference to the line in Emily Dickinson’s poem “I died for Beauty—but was scarce.” It expresses director Nguyen Trinh Thi’s reflections on the pursuit of beauty in an age marked by the relentless encroachment of globalisation.

At a factory’s opening event in Asia, impeccably dressed Europeans and their Asian counterparts meet, go on a tour, and observe workers polishing surfaces of motorcycle parts that will soon be on display in gleaming showrooms. This lyrical sequence, set in slow motion to soaring passages from Western classical opera, is punctuated by real-time footage of production line processes, complete with ambient noise.

This film is also available for online viewing in Singapore, during the festival period 2-25 July 2021.

Nguyen Trinh Thi (b.1973, Vietnam) is an experimental filmmaker and media artist whose practice has consistently engaged with the history of Vietnam. In particular, she is interested in connecting the moving image with sound practices, performance and alternative forms of storytelling. Her works have been exhibited at the Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art, Sydney Biennale, Lyon Biennale, Asian Art Biennial, Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, and the Singapore Biennale.

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