For a Subversity Show Online bilingual (Vietnamese/English) interview with Phong, click here. Thanks to Thuy-Van Nguyen for interpreting!
Garnering the Community Spotlight Award at the 2016 Vietnamese Film Festival held in Orange, California, “Finding Phong” (Tim Phong) is an exquisitely beautiful and revealing 2015 film about a young Vietnamese man’s journey to become a young woman.
Although the film lists two veteran indie filmmakers Tran Phuong Thao and Swann Dubus as co-directors, credit nonetheless also belongs to the subject of this documentary, Le Anh Phong. Phong manages capture with small video cameras her own journey (while trapped in the body of a male), as she filmed herself talking to her mother who is far away back in their rural home in Quang Ngai province in Central Vietnam.
|Selfie scene from "Finding Phong"|
|Phong with Subversity Show host|
Self-identifying as a girl in her childhood, the star of the film also manages to capture what must be an ethnographer’s dream footage, as sister, brother and friends talk explicitly about heterosexual sex including ejaculation and oral and penetrative sex. In addition to her mother, in her 70s, who wonders why she is fated to have such a son (she had been happy the boy was born), the bearded father (in his eighties) is shown saying that it doesn’t matter boy or girl as long as there is support for the Revolution!
Kudos to the producers Gerry Herman and Nicole Pham who have partnered with Phong to see this amazing film reach the festival audience worldwide. It won France’s Nanook GrandPrix at the 34th Festival International Jean Rouch last fall, and furthermore a DVD of the film has been added to every French school library in an attempt at helping overcome discrimination against the transgendered.
|Phong at VFF|