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Tune in to the Voice of Vietnam to hear an entire nation in its call-ins and radio dramas

In Vietnam, radio is dominated by the state broadcaster, the Voice of Vietnam, whose plethora of programmes is estimated to reach more than 90 per cent of households across the country. The Vietnamese filmmaker and artist Phạm Ngọc Lân turns this ubiquity into a beguiling exploration of connections between people and their contexts in his short The Story of Ones (2011). Bouncing from scene to scene in a manner that mimics flipping between radio stations, the short provides brief glimpses into the everyday lives of people in Vietnam as they tune in to broadcasts of melodramas, emotional call-in advice shows and love songs. With each sequence unfolding like a puzzle, the film is simultaneously confounding and engrossing, revealing a distinctive characteristic of Vietnamese life while defying facile interpretations.

Director: Phạm Ngọc Lân

16 March 2020

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