TAU BAN NO HOI
Sog.: Tin Goh. Scen.: Chiu Kang-Chien. F.: Wong Chung-Gei. M.: Kin Kin. Scgf.: Tony Au Ting-Ping. Mus.: Law Wing-Fai. Int.: George Lam (Shiomi Akutagawa), Season Ma (Cam Nuong), Cora Miao (la proprietaria del bar), Andy Lau (To Minh), Hao Jia-Ling (la madre di Cam Nuong), Qi Meng-Shi (Nguyen), Jia Mei-Ying (Le Van Quyen), Lin Shu-Jin (Vu), Guo Jun-Yi (Van Lang), Wu Shu-Jun (Van Nhac), Cheung Tung-Sing (il dottore). Prod.: Hsia Meng per Bluebird Movie Enterprises Ltd. DCP. D.: 109’. Col.
Why does someone leave home to seek refuge elsewhere? This question is at the heart of Ann Hui’s Tau Ban No Hoi, which depicts the plight of those who fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. Made during Hong Kong’s New Wave of cinematic innovation and the second wave of Vietnamese boat refugees, Hui’s film provides a raw and moving response to that question by documenting life in postwar Vietnam – it shows how violence, unfreedom, and hopelessness forced people to risk everything by stepping into boats. Tau Ban No Hoi contains one of the earliest cinematic representations of Vietnamese refugees, and it is the culmination of Hui’s “Vietnam trilogy,” following The Boy from Vietnam (1978) and The Story of Woo Viet (1981). The trilogy’s final film distills the thematic concerns of its predecessors and focuses most explicitly on the driving forces of refugee migration. It was produced when the majority of those undergoing migration did not have access to the means of self-representation, when they were viewed primarily through news headlines and government policies. Although in the past few decades diasporic Vietnamese writers, visual artists, and filmmakers have begun telling their own stories, Tau Ban No Hoi remains a rare and foundational text, one that portrays Vietnamese refugees as subjects worthy of narrative and ethical contemplation. In the late 70s and early 80s, “boat people” fleeing Vietnam regularly washed ashore in neighboring countries. […] Hui’s film offered crucial context to this social situation, portraying Vietnamese asylum seekers before their escape, and chronicling the conditions that created their exile. […] For viewers like me, who are intimately tied to this history of forced migration, Tau Ban No Hoi is a stunning snapshot of our reality, capturing the emotional resonance of our escape from Vietnam. Almost 50 years after the “end” of the Vietnam War, Hui’s film remains an important testament to the legacies of war, one focused not on the drama of geopolitics but on the enormous costs to human lives.
Vinh Nguyen, Ann Hui’s Boat People: Documenting Vietnamese Refugees in Hong Kong, in Looking Back on the Vietnam War: Twenty-First Century Perspectives, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick 2016