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Rising Above

Rising Above

In the long years of war against France and the U.S., Vietnamese women fought alongside men as equals. Women such as Madam Binh, who negotiated with Henry Kissinger at the Paris Peace Accords, and later became Vice President of Vietnam, and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Dinh, general and deputy commander of the Vietcong forces, reached the highest positions of power. But 30 years after the signing of the peace agreement, the revival of Confucianism and the spread of market forces are conspiring to relegate women once again to the role of second class citizens. This film looks at what happened to Mrs. Binh and Mrs. Dinh and three other women since the war.

Kim Lai was 17 in 1965 when she captured an American pilot twice her size and the newspaper photograph of them was circulated around the world. Vo Thi Thang was also the subject of a famous picture. Sentenced to 20 years in jail by the South Vietnamese government for her part in the Tet offensive, her unrepentant smile was captured by photographers. Dr. Duong Quynh Hoa, Shadow Minister of Health in the provisional government, became Deputy Minister of Health for two years after the war until she became disillusioned.

Vietnamese women overcame seemingly insurmountable odds in wartime. Their peacetime challenge is to rise above centuries of obedience and self-denial to build their own and their country's future.

'An excellent film...well organized...compelling narration...Highly recommended.' Belinda L. Robinson-Jones, Ohio University, MC Journal

'Have you ever wondered about Vietnamese heroines? This is a heroic film about the intrepid participation of women in the war effort.' T.T. Nhu, San Jose Mercury-News

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Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Human Rights
International Studies
Social Justice
War and Peace
Women's Studies


Vietnam; Vietnamese women; women's rights; Vietnam War; politics; Southeast Asia; Madam Binh; Kim Lai; Vo Thi Thang; Tet Offensive; Nguyen Thi Dinh; Dr. Duong Quynh Hoa; Vietcong; "Rising Above"; Bullfrog Films; Confucianism; Ruism;

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