Children of the Mist (2021)
Những đứa trẻ trong sương
Directed by Diem Ha Le
2021 ♦ 92 minutes ♦ Vietnam
Hmong & Vietnamese with English subtitles
CHILDREN OF THE MIST follows Di, a 13-year-old girl living in a village in the mountains of North Vietnam, who is part of the first generation of kids who have access to education, but she must convince her parents that studying is not a waste of time and money. If she cannot, she will be trapped in the village her entire life, “just like a frog in a well”.
Di belongs to the Hmong ethnic minority, where traditionally women get married very young, some of them as young as 12. In this society, marriage is linked to a very particular and controversial tradition: the “bride-kidnapping”, where a boy interested in a girl organizes her kidnapping and forces her back to his own home.
When Di enters puberty, her mother worries that Di could be harmed or mistreated. On the Lunar New Year's Eve, when Di's parents come back home after celebrating, the house is silent and empty: Di has disappeared. Her mother breaks down in tears realizing that her daughter has been kidnapped! This may signify the end of Di's childhood and the beginning of her life as a woman.
PART OF THE OHIO INDIGENOUS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
General Admission: $12