The Arts, Film
local film industry, Communist society, Thematic content, newsreels, Communist government
A local film industry first developed in North Vietnam after the division of the country in 1954. The Communist government created the state-run Vietnamese Feature Film Studio to produce newsreels and documentaries that promoted the cause of reunification and revolution. The quantity and quality of such films were limited, although among the most interesting were films produced by artists operating with guerrilla units in South Vietnam during the war.
Film production increased after reunification. With the assistance of a newly founded College of Stage Arts and Cinematography, about ten feature films were produced each year. Thematic content, however, was tightly controlled by the state and focused on the struggle for national unification or the challenges of constructing a Communist society. In recent years, film producers have begun to assert their independence in the selection of subject matter. A number of recent films have criticized postwar social and economic conditions, and some have even questioned the official line on the heroic character of soldiers fighting against the regime in the South during the Vietnam War. However, film producers risk censorship or persecution when they transcend the limits of official approval.
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