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Documentary by former French ambassador tells his love to Hà Nội

Update: October, 04/2017 - 09:00
Unique perspective: Former French ambassador to Việt Nam Jean-Noel Poirier (third left) attends a press conference at the Vietnam Television studio about his documentary Mon Hanoi (My Hanoi) yesterday. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s bustling streets, street vendors, colonial-era buildings showing the lingering influence of French architecture, old style communal residences, and hidden corners: all have been presented vividly in a documentary by former French ambassador to Việt Nam Jean-Noel Poirier.

In the 52-minute documentary, entitled Mon Hanoi (My Hanoi), the former diplomat takes the audience with him on a journey to discover Hà Nội – a city that evokes his hometown of Paris.

At a press conference at the Vietnam Television (VTV) studio yesterday, Poirier said that he offered his documentary as a gift to Hà Nội. After more than four years of working and living here, he regards the city as his second home.

“Unlike many other movies about Hà Nội, which depict the city as a tourist spot with iconic buildings and attractions, I want to stress that Mon Hanoi reflects my look and my observations about Hà Nội,” he said in fluent Vietnamese.

Asked why he decided to produce a movie instead of writing a memoir like many others, he said that a movie with vivid scenes and images is easily accessible to more people.

“In addition, I am lucky to have a movie director right in my family. My older brother Henri-Louis Poirier is the one who accompanied me during the movie-making process of more than one year,” he said.

More than the usual sites: A scene from the documentary Mon Hanoi (My Hanoi). The movie will air on VTV1 channel on October 8. — Photo courtesy of producer

Co-director Henri-Louis Poirier, who also attended the press conference, said he was enthusiastic when his younger brother told him about the idea for the movie.

“My mission is to turn all his thoughts, ideas, and special affection for Hà Nội into movie images that can tell a story,” he said. “Together, we discussed and worked until we both agreed upon on each detail and scene of the movie.”     

Among the first few people to see the movie, Chief of the VTV Secretariat and Editorial Board Nguyễn Hà Nam said: “I was amazed by the movie that reflects the sophisticated observations of the producer – former ambassador Poirier. To produce such an interesting production, he definitely has a special love for Hà Nội. I’m sure that not every Hanoian can have such refined observations on the city where they were born and grow up.”

According to Nam, some hot topics in the city such as traffic and urban planning are also addressed in the movie, but “with a very sympathetic look”.

After finishing his term last September, the former diplomat has decided to continue to live in Hà Nội because he “was infatuated by this amazing city”.

The current diplomat-turned-businessman now chairs a company specialising in supporting French enterprises and businessmen who wish to invest in Việt Nam.

The documentary Mon Hanoi will premiere tonight at L’Espace before being show on VTV1 channel on October 8, at 8.40pm. — VNS

 

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