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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article looks at the career and work of a prominent Vietnamese film director, Đặng Nhật Minh. By taking a closer look at his film When the Tenth Month Comes, this article challenges the Cold War perception of communist art as a mere servant to politics and ideology, with little aesthetic ambition beyond its didactic and propagandist duty. It explores Minh’s use of lyricism as an effective tool of subversion and means to assert his autonomy as a communist artist. It is through the lyrical that the film director reaches back to the core of Vietnamese cultural identity and ancient traditions to provide a poetic affirmation of the resilience of his nation’s culture, while mobilizing a sense of belonging and loyalty to the communist project.

Keywords: Vietnam, Vietnamese film, the Cold War, communism, visual cultures, socialist realism, lyricism, Đặng Nhật Minh

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