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Renowned Vietnamese-American filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha: 'Shoot for the Contents'

November 8, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 7:00pm

CalArts, Bijou Theater
 Free and open to the entire Institute

FILM/VIDEO: Film at REDCAT & The School of Film/Video in collaboration with Intercultural Arts Project Committee (ICAP), The Office of the Provost & The Master of Aesthetics and Politics Program proudly present Trinh T. Minh-ha 3 screenings/presentations, Nov 7, 8 & 9.

Shoot for the Contents

(USA, 102 mins, 16mm, 1991)

The title refers in part to a Chinese guessing game, a maze of allegorical naming and storytelling. The film ponders questions of power and change, politics and culture, stemming from events at Tiananmen Square. While juggling with documentary concepts of getting to the truth, the title simultaneously inquires into the process of filmmaking. The multifaceted layering of images and sounds (Chinese popular songs, classical music, sayings of Mao and Confucius, women's voices, words of artists, philosophers, and other workers) once again touch on the multiplicity of identity, and the politics of representation, in this case, re-presentations of China.

Shoot for the Contents won the Jury's Best Cinematography Award at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Athens International Film Festival, and toured internationally with the 1993 Biennale of the Whitney Museum.

Trinh T. Minh-ha

Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and composer. She has traveled and lectured extensively-in the States, as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand-on film, art, feminism, and cultural politics. She taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar, Senegal (1977-80); at universities such as Cornell, San Francisco State, Smith, and Harvard, Ochanomizu (Tokyo), Ritsumeikan (Kyoto), Dongguk (Seoul); and is Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

The recipient of numerous awards and grants (including the "Trailblazers" Award at MIPDOC, Cannes; AFI National Independent Filmmaker Maya Deren Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, The Japan Foundation, and the California Arts Council), her films have been given over forty two retrospectives in the US, the UK, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Korea, Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and were exhibited at the international contemporary art exhibition Documenta 11 (2002) in Germany. They have shown widely in the States, in Canada, Senegal, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in Europe and Asia (including in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Japan, India, Taiwan, Jerusalem, etc.

Her works include:


  • Night Passage (98mins, Digital, 2004) (fiction)
  • The Fourth Dimension (87 mins, Digital, 2001)
  • A Tale of Love (108 mins, 1995) (fiction)
  • Shoot for the Contents (102 mins, 1991)
  • Surname Viet Given Name Nam (108 mins, 1989)
  • Naked Spaces - Living is Round (135 mins, 1985)
  • Reassemblage (40 mins, 1982)


  • Elsewhere, Within Here (Routledge 2010)
  • The Digital Film Event (Routledge 2005)
  • Cinema Interval (Routledge 1999)
  • Drawn from African Dwellings (in coll. with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Indiana University Press 1996)
  • Framer Framed (Routledge 1992)
  • When the Moon Waxes Red. Representation, gender and cultural politics (Routledge 1991)
  • Out There: Marginalisation in Contemporary Culture (Co-editor with Cornel West, R. Ferguson & M. Gever. New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art and M.I.T. Press, 1990)
  • Woman, Native, Other. Writing postcoloniality and feminism (Indiana University Press 1989)
  • En minuscules (book of poems, Edition Le Méridien 1987)
  • African Spaces - Designs for Living in Upper Volta (in coll. with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Holmes & Meier 1985)
  • Un art sans oeuvre (International Book Publishers, Inc. 1981)


  • Old Land New Waters, Okinawa Fine Arts Museum (opening) November 2007; (exhibition) 2009 and Guangzhou Art Triennial, China (Sept 6 to Nov 16, 2008).
  • L' Autre marche (The Other Walk) In collaboration with Jean Paul Bourdier, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France 9 June 2006 -2009
  • The Desert is Watching (in coll. with Jean-Paul Bourdier, 2003, Kyoto Art Biennale)
  • Nothing But Ways (in coll. with L. M. Kirby, 1999, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco)


  • Poems. Composition for Percussion Ensemble. Premiere by the Univ. of Illinois Percussion Ensemble, Denis Wiziecki, Director. 09 April 1976.
  • Four Pieces for Electronic Music. 1975 Performances at the Univ. of Illinois.

Last edited by dthatt on Nov 05, 2012
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