Ha Le Diem depicts the bride-kidnapping crudity Vietnamese girls from the Hmong community suffer


 The filmmaker releases in Spain her documentary film Children of the Mist, in which she portrays the story of a teenager who lives in the misty mountains of North Vietnam, where she has to deal with her people’s culture and traditions

 This work will be screened today at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Wednesday 27 April 2022.- In 2017, chance took Ha Le Diem to a Hmong village inhabited by a community of Chinese origin settled in the mountain regions of North Vietnam, her home country. There she could delve into their traditions and culture thanks to her cohabitation with a family whose teenager daughter, Di, became Children of the Mist’s main character. This documentary film that depicts the way young people from this community live and the extreme wedding rites they are subject to will premiere in Spain within the 21st Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s Official Feature Film Section.

The first screening on the Festival’s sixth day has been a work that started from its author’s own personal experience. “I was born and raised in North Vietnam and my childhood went very fast because my friends married very young,” she explained right after this morning’s press conference began. A childhood that, as she said, she recalled when she saw her main character played in that village, what prompted her “to make the film.”

Thus began a filming experience that would take her to delve into the Hmong culture in a very close way alongside the Di family. She had the opportunity to live in their house, where she built a friendship with the girl, despite their age difference. In this way, the filmmaker could film the difficulties the 13-year-old teenager has to face just because she belongs to one of the first generations in her community with access to education. She could also film the way in which her family experiences one of their community’s most rooted traditions: bride-kidnapping.

Bride-kidnapping is a practice not admitted by the Vietnamese government that continues in this village and that consists in taking by force a woman or a girl to force her to marry her kidnapper. An experience Di will also face and that’ll be a turning point within her family. Ha Le Diem echoes this story in Children of the Mist, which, as the filmmaker said, has permission to be screen in her native country, where she also hopes to show it in the northern regions inhabited by young girls from different ethnic groups

This 92-minute work that combines crudity with sensitivity will be shown two more times within the Gran-Canarian Festival. The first screening will take place today at 8 p.m., while the second one will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. Tickets are available on Cinesa El Muelle’s website, as well as through the purchase link provided at lpafilmfestival.com.

The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, organized by the Culture area of the Gran-Canarian capital’s City Council through Promoción de la Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has received public assistance by the ICAA [Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts] and the program for the internationalization of Spanish culture, PICE Visitantes, of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

Among the Festival’s collaborators we may find Cinesa El Muelle, El Muelle Shopping Center, Hotel Cristina by Tigotan, the Elder Museum of Science and Technology or Casa África, places which also function as seats or hold activities; as well as other institutions and companies such as Audiovisuales Canarias, Music Library & SFX or the International Bach Festival. Likewise, its market, MECAS, has been possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Gran Canaria Film Commission-Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria and the support of Canary Islands Film and Proexca.

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Mid Atlantic University, the Audiovisual Cluster of the Canary Islands, CIMA Canarias, the Asociación Microclima Cineastas de Canarias [Association of Filmmakers of the Canary Islands ‘Microclima’] and Repeople are also collaborators of the Festival.

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