The Twofold Commitment

Trinh T. Minh-ha

The Twofold Commitment is an artist book and collection of interviews by filmmaker, writer, and feminist and post-colonial theorist, Trinh T. Minh-ha. While discussing the wider scope of her filmmaking practice, this new volume centers on Trinh’s feature film Forgetting Vietnam (2015), which takes up one of the myths surrounding the creation of Vietnam: a fight between two dragons whose intertwined bodies fell into the South China Sea and formed Vietnam’s curving, S-shaped coastline. Commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the end of the war, the film draws inspiration from ancient legend to stage an ongoing, contemporary conversation between land and water, creating a third space, another way, for historical and cultural re-memory.

The book features the film’s lyrical, essayistic script, along with rhythmically distributed movie stills. Expanding on this central focus is a series of conversations between the filmmaker and film and sound studies scholars and critics, including Patricia Alvarez Astacio and Benjamín Schultz-Figueroa, Erika Balsom, Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier, Domitilla Olivieri, Stefan Östersjö, Irit Rogoff, and Xiaolu Guo, dating from 2016 to 2022, amplified by an index identifying key concepts and ideas in the artist’s work.

Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer, and music composer. She is the author of twelve books, including, most recently, Lovecidal: Walking with the Disappeared (2016) and D-Passage: The Digital Way (2013), the seminal Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (1989). Her films and large-scale multimedia installations have been presented Documenta 11, Kassel; La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and the Whitney Biennial, New York; as well as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Kyoto Biennale; the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum; the Guangzhou Triennial; and Manifesta 13, Marseille. Her films have been exhibited as part of numerous international film festivals and honored in over sixty-five retrospectives worldwide. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and is a Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School in the departments of Gender & Women’s Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

208 pages
6.6 x 8.9 inches
Edition of 2000
Spring 2023
IBSN: 9781737797968

Editor: Rachel Valinsky
Designer: Dorothy Lin
Copy Editor: Allison Dubinsky