Bay and Tam are a Vietnamese couple who have been living in Germany for the past 30 years. They work as office cleaners by night and rarely come into contact with German society. By day they spend all their time online, maintaining a virtual connection to their homeland via Skype and karaoke chatrooms. But when a storm destroys their house in Vietnam, their virtual bubble bursts. Tam desperately tries to organize the repairs remotely, while Bay’s priorities begin to shift, and she studies German in anticipation of the birth of their grandchild in Germany. She sees her future forming there, while for Tam it becomes more important than ever to focus on his family in Vietnam. Is home a place or a state of mind? Mein Vietnam is a vivid illustration of living in two places at once, and that duality’s consequences on marriage, family and a sense of belonging.
(text by Angie Driscoll)
Tim Ellrich, Hien Mai
Leopold Pape, Tim Ellrich
There are people in this world who exist without really being noticed by society. Our protagonists live in such a reality. They came to Germany in search of a better life and left everything behind. But what does life look like 30 years later? Have they really found a new home in Germany? Is it possible to maintain the connection to the distant family via the Internet or does it not rather lead to alienation?
We want to give the viewers a feeling of this life. A life between two countries, between two homes. The film addresses many political issues, but focuses on the emotional impact these issues have on Bay's and Tam's lives - and wants to make two wonderful people visible again.
FIRST STEPS AWARD, Germany
"Best Documentary Feature"
50th Sehsüchte Film Festival, Germany
TOP 20 Audience Favorites
HOT DOCS International Canadian Documentary Festival, Canada
Special Jury Mention
DOK.fest Munich, Germany
Dokka - Documentary Filmfestival, Germany
42th Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis, Germany
DMZ Documentary Film Festival, South Korea
Sehsüchte Film Festival, Germany
Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt, Germany
Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
Freiburger Filmforum Festival of Transcultural Cinema, Germany
5th East Asia Filmfestival - Dublin, Ireland
FILMZ - Festival of German Cinema, Germany
Dokka - Documentary Filmfestival, Germany
Bayern Biennale, Bavaria Germany
nominated for CIVIS MEDIA AWARD for Integration and Cultural Diversity in Europa
"Berührend, nüchtern und gleichzeitig voller Mitgefühl"
Review by Josef Grübl @ SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG - Read the full article HERE
"Feinfühlig, aber ohne jeglichen Pathos"
Review by Eva-Maria Magel @ FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG - Read the full article HERE
"Die liebevolle Hommage funktioniert letztlich exemplarisch für eine ganze Generation an Arbeitern und Arbeiterinnen, die für eine bessere Zukunft ihre Heimat verlassen haben, und zwischen zwei Welten, zwei Kulturen und auch verschiedenen Wünschen hin und hergerissen ist."
Review by Emily Thomey @ WDR COSMO - Read the full article HERE
"Ein wirklich besonderer Film"
Interview with Hien Mai & Tim Ellrich @ DEUTSCHLANDFUNK KULTUR - Listen to the full interview HERE
"Ist Heimat ein Ort oder Gefühlszustand?"
TV feature about MEIN VIETNAM and Interview with Hien Mai @ BAYRISCHER RUNDFUNK - See the full feature HERE
MEIN VIETNAM as one of the 10 Highlights by CUTS
Review by Christian Eichler @ CUTS - Der kritische Filmpodcast - Listen to the full review HERE
"Ein Film über Liebe und die Suche nach dem Zuhause"
Interview with Hien Mai with Viktoria Orlinsky @ DIEVERPEILTE - Read the full interview HERE
"Herzen kann man immer erreichen, egal, wie verschlossen sie sind"
Interview with Hien Mai & Tim Ellrich @ FUNKY - Read the full interview HERE
"So hoffe ich, dass meine Eltern noch vielen Menschen aus der Seele sprechen können."
Interview with Hien Mai @ Littlefeminist Blog - Read the full interview HERE
"An intimate portrait of migrant experiences—and an unexpectedly relatable film in the time of COVID-19"
Review by Pat Mullen @ POV Magazine - Read the full article HERE
"Unfolding purely in a cinéma vérité style, Mein Vietnam evocatively captures the monotony, loneliness and boredom of living in a society that you don’t really feel like a part of."
Review by John Corrado @ Onemovieourviews - Read the full article HERE
"With Mein Vietnam, Tim Ellrich and Thi Hien Mai offer a tender ode to the migratory phenomenon of the last decades of the 20th century. At the same time subtle and playful while distancing itself from sensationalism and unnecessary pathos."
Review @ KinoCulture Montreal - Read the full article HERE