Friday, September 30, 2022

Vietnam Honors Dutch Cineast Joris Ivens

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In the picture H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Vietnam during the ceremony Viet Nam friendship Medal to Joris Ivens. Photography by Sven Dekker.

By Roy Lie Atjam.

H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Vietnam in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and European Foundation hosted the event

“Joris Ivens and Viet Nam, 75 years of solidarity “ 

In appreciation for the contribution of Joris Ivens to the achievement of peace and national independence of Vietnam, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – Nguyen Phu Trong – decided to posthumously confer the Friendship Order on Joris Ivens. Therefore , a ceremony took place at the Embassy of Viet Nam in The Hague on Thursday, 16th of January 2020.

The ceremony was well attended. A delegation of the Nijmegen based European Foundation led by board member Mr Andre Stufkens was present at the ceremony. Colleagues of Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa, from Tanzania, Chile, Belarus, ASEAN  and others also came by.

Madam Annemiek Nooteboom and the Ambassador of Viet Nam.

On the program, were speeches and the screening of  Joris works.

Mr Gerben de Jong, a former Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam delivered a powerful speech. He was followed by  Mr Andre Stufkens who also delivered a speech and presented the book Joris Ivens and Vietnam to Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa.

H.E. Ngo Thi Hoa after her discourse, presented the instruments pertaining to the Order of Friendship to madam Annemiek Nooteboom, a representative of the Ivans family. Madam Nooteboom express her gratitude for the honor that has been bestowed on Joris Ivams posthumously.

A resume of Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa discourse follows hereby.

” Joris Ivens is a well-known filmmaker of the Netherlands and the world in the 20th century, who is famous for his documentary films. He was nicknamed the “Flying Dutchman” as he spent most of his life travelling around the world to make films condemning inequality, injustice, war and imperialism. 

In 1965, Joris Ivens first came to Vietnam at the invitation of the Vietnamese Government. He made the short film “Le Ciel, La Terre” to protest the US bombing in Vietnam. This is the very first film Ivens made about the Vietnam war, which is a realistic report of the ongoing war in both regions of the country. It shows the audience the massive consequences of the conflict on the lives of the Vietnamese people. A year later, he returned to Vietnam to film “Far from Vietnam” in order to continue protesting against the war that was waging in the country. 

Mr. Gerben de Jong, a former Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam, madam Annemiek Nooteboom, a representative of the Ivans family, H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Vietnam and Mr Andre Stufkens.

When Ivens came to Vietnam for the third time in 1967, he created the film “The 17th parallel – People’s war” in Vinh Linh, Quang Tri province. The film won the Lenin International Peace Prize in 1967 and became a hit with international peace-loving audiences. It was also in this place in 1977 that the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam established the Dong Ha or Ha Lan hospital to help locals affected by the war. 

Ivens was one of the foreign filmmakers honored to meet President Ho Chi Minh – the national hero of Vietnam – and had valuable footage of Uncle Ho, as shown in the film Vietnam Honors  Dutch Cineast Joris Ivans.

The film captured President Ho Chi Minh’s images and words during a meeting with young heroes from 2 parts of the country in Hanoi; just a few months before the President died. This was one of the last films to record the words of President Ho Chi Minh. 

The documentary films of Joris Ivens voiced the desire for peace for the Vietnamese people with the world, from which Vietnam has received valuable support from international friends; contributing to the victory in the struggle for national liberation. The victory of the Vietnamese people on April 30th, 1975 certainly had the participation and support of many international film artists including Ivens and his wife, Marceline Loridan, who always protected justice, despite having to put themselves in danger and even facing death. They always believed in a brighter future for Vietnam. 

In addition to contributing valuable historical films to Vietnam, Ivens also had a great influence on filmmaking methods for Vietnamese cinema and television. He is considered to be the initiator of the direct cinema style in Vietnam, which is a style of capturing reality and representing it truthfully. 

The valuable historic documentaries of Joris Ivens as well as many other materials have been handed over to the Vietnam Film Institute by the European Foundation Joris Ivens and the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam in recent years.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to them for their efforts in preserving and transferring these valuable materials to the Vietnam Film Institute. All of these films and materials have been preserved and widely introduced to the public audience and future generations of Vietnam and the Netherlands in order to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between our 2 nations.

It is also our way of dedicating our appreciation to the legendary filmmaker. In addition, the Vietnam Film Institute produced a documentary in 2018 titled “Joris Ivens and the Wind of Vietnam”, in order to honor Joris Ivens, his life and work. This film won 2 Silver Kite Prizes and the Silver Lotus Prize last year. 

I am very happy to announce that in appreciation for the contribution of Joris Ivens to the achievement of peace and national independence of Vietnam, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – Nguyen Phu Trong – decided to posthumously confer the Friendship Order to Joris Ivens. We are honored to have here with us Mrs. Annemiek Nooteboom, who will receive the Order on behalf of Joris Ivens’ family. 

Today, we will have the opportunity to listen to the presentations and remarks on Joris Iven’s life and career from friends who have been the companions of Vietnam for many years/”

A lavish Vietnamese dinner-buffet concluded the Joris Ivens ceremony.

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