URI's series on Vietnam concludes with two events: Analysis
of war and prize-winning film
KINGSTON, R. I. -- November 29, 1999 -- The University of Rhode Island's
honors colloquium, "Legacies of the Vietnam War," wraps
up with two events.
The first is a lecture that was added to the series. The lecturer, Professor
Charles Neu, will give an analysis of the overall impact of the Vietnam
War in his talk, "The Vietnam War and the Transformation of America."
His lecture is on Monday, Dec. 6 in Chafee 271 at 7:30.
Neu is the author of many books and essays on U.S. foreign policy in
the 20th century. His next book, After Vietnam: Legacies of a Lost War,
will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in the spring of 2000.
His numerous honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim
Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the last
decade, Neu has visited Vietnam three times, most recently in 1997 as part
of Brown University's Vietnam War Project.
Neu received his bachelor's of art in history and English literature
at Northwestern University in 1958. He received his Ph.D. in American History
at Harvard University in 1964. He has taught at Rice University and Brown
University where he is now chair of the Department of History and a Faculty
Associate at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies.
Neu hopes to bring an understanding to the enormous change experienced
in the life of our nation as a result of its involvement in Vietnam. He
will examine how the Vietnam War helped to change Americans' sense of themselves.
As the Vietnam War challenged widely-held national myths, it brought a
weakening of Americans' sense of their past and of their vision of the future.
Consequently, the nation that entered the Vietnam War was far different
from the one that left it.
The final event of URI's series will be a screening of Tony Bui's Three
Seasons (October Films, 1999) on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in URI's
Biological Sciences Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Tony Bui fled Vietnam at age of 2 with
his parents-a father who had been an officer in the South Vietnamese Air
Force and a mother who came from a family of Vietnamese artists.
He grew up in Sunnyvale, California, where he became thoroughly assimilated
into American society. His first trip back to Vietnam was at age 19 to
visit his uncle, one of Vietnam's best-known actors. During subsequent
visits to Vietnam he learned the language and attempted to understand firsthand
the culture of his country of origin. Filmmaking became part of this process.
Bui's Three Seasons is the first American film made in Vietnam since
the end of the war. Bui wrote and directed the film, photographing it entirely
in Vietnam on a budget of less than $2-million, using primarily Vietnamese
actors, and telling the story in Vietnamese dialog with English subtitles.
The film weaves together three stories: A young woman who is employed
to pick and sell lotus blossoms by an ailing Vietnamese poet, a cycle driver
who befriends a Vietnamese prostitute, and a street urchin who encounters
a former U.S. Marine returned to Vietnam to find his Amerasian daughter.
Together these stories depict young Vietnamese trying to sustain traditional
values and a way of life in a post-war economy characterized by the transformative
forces of modernization and globalization. Reviewing the film in The
New York Times, Stephen Holden remarks, "Determined not
to revisit the Vietnam War and to open up old wounds, Three Seasons
preaches reconciliation, forgiveness, reverence for tradition and the salvaging
of all that was best about the past."
Three Seasons garnered three awards at the 1999 Sundance Film
Festival including the grand jury prize for best dramatic feature.
For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116