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National television airs new document on Nguyễn Ái Quốc

Update: May, 18/2017 - 10:26
New perspective: Author and journalist Madelaine Riffaud takes a photo with the film crew.

Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A new documentary on President Hồ Chí Minh’s time in France from 1919-1923 will be aired on Việt Nam Television (VTV) tonight (May 18). 

Entitled Nguyễn Ái Quốc — Ẩn Số Từ Nước Pháp (Nguyễn Ái Quốc — The Unknown in France) was produced by a film crew from VTV’s Việt Nam Television International, focusing on the President’s time in France. 

"We decide to focus on that period because we think that this period was key to changing President Hồ Chí Minh’s thinking," Trần Thu Hà, the documentary director said. "From a patriot to seek the way to liberate his fatherland Nguyễn Ái Quốc became a founding member of the Partie Communiste Française (French Communist Party) and spent much of his time in Moscow afterwards, becoming the Comintern’s Asia hand".

Living history: An interview with historian Pierre Brocheux.

The film crew went to The National Overseas Archives and Department of Memory and Cultural Affairs — Office of the Prefect of Police (DMCAOP) to seek documents about Nguyễn Ái Quốc in France.

"The documents in DMCAOP are an important resouce for research on Nguyễn Ái Quốc. Many of them are sealed secret and top secret. I want to stress the resource is objective because it was written by French police and French units which watched Nguyễn Ái Quốc during his time in France and until he became President," said Hà.

The VTV film crew was the first Vietnamese film crew given permission to access Nguyễn Ái Quốc documents and shoot at DMCAOP. 

Strapping young man: Identitty card of Nguyễn Ái Quốc which was issued on September 4, 1919. — Photo courtesy of the film crew .
The 50 minute-documentary will show Nguyễn Ái Quốc’s identity card to Vietnamese viewers for the first time. The filmmakers found the document, issued on Spetember 4, 1919, when they went to DMCAOP

"The card looks new because it was withdrawn by French police the same year. It was found at the Paris Police Department. It is regarded as the first official document the French administration issued to Nguyễn Ái Quốc. It is legal affirmation of Nguyễn Ái Quốc’s appearance in France," Hà said. 

It took about six months to complete the documentary, including one-month shooting in France and Việt Nam. Outside scenes were shot in France and inside scenes were in Việt Nam. Two Vietnamese students in France played Nguyễn Ái Quốc and a French policeman. 

By the seaside: The film crew at Marseille port.

The crew also contacted French researchers for interviews. The interviewees include historians Daniel Héméry; Pierre Brocheux and Alain Ruscio; author and journalist Madelaine Riffaud; Professor Pierre Journoud; Vietnamese-French professor Trịnh Văn Thảo and former mayor of Montreuil Jean Pierre Brard.

"They are 90 years and older. Many of them live in seclusion and have not appeared in mass media in the last ten years," the director said. "It took a long time to convince them to appear. Some of them met President Hồ Chí Minh." 

Nguyễn Ái Quốc — The Unknown in France will be shown on VTV’s channel 1 at 8.10pm on the occassion of the 127th birthday of President Hồ Chí Minh on May 19. — VNS


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