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GAO RANG (GRILLED RICE)
Directed by | Claude Grunspan
Genre documentary | Length: 52mins | Year of production: 2001
Talk of war is often talk of fighters and victims. It rarely foregrounds those who fought with other means. This is a unique portrait of those forgotten by the most mediatised war of the 20th century: NorthVietnamese cameramen. The film tells the story of five Viet Cong filmmakers who risked everything to contribute in film to the Vietnamese struggle against imperialism. “Gao Rang” is the grilled rice that these cameramen used between 1947 and 1975 to protect their equipment and film from humidity – even when it meant going hungry themselves. Featuring interviews with the few cameramen who survived the war against the French and one who survive that against the Americans, this unique documentary uses remarkable archival footage to recount the heroic birth of a revolutionary political cinema in the midst of the jungle and under conditions of total war.