A little girl climbs a steep hill in a mountainous village in northern Vietnam. The director's narration continues, and a thick fog surrounds the village as she says: "In my 3 years of filming, I always feared what it would end up with." What was the director afraid of? For her debut film Children of the Mist, Diem Ha Le visits a remote Hmong village and befriends Di, a teenage girl she got so close to that one could call it a sisterhood. One night, during the Lunar New Year holidays, the director's anxiety becomes a reality when Di is ??abducted?? as a bride by a boy of her age. This is because Di is a part of the Hmong that still recognizes the custom of abducting brides as a ??tradition??. At this point, Children of the Mist captures the tension between the traditional and the modern, while contemplating the ethics involved in making films about the lives of others. In the end, the solution the young director found was friendship. Not a cold observer or an arrogant savior, but a true friend. Such friendship awakens responsibility for the ethical and political relationships the documentary constructs with its characters.
Di is a 13-year-old Homong girl living in a village lost in the mist of North Vietnamese mountains. Despite being the first generation to receive education, she cannot escape from the custom still remains in her tribe: the bride kid-napping. The film follows Di who is eventually kidnapped by a boy her age and captures the moment when a beautiful and precarious childhood disappears with the tension between traditional and modern ways of life.
HÀ Lệ Diễm was born in 1991 in Tay ethnic minority group living in the mountains of Northeast Vietnam. Children of the Mist is her first feature documentary film project. She is a Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Grantee.
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