The Vietnam war ended 45 years ago, but still has a lasting impact. In the documentary ‘Scars of War’ we follow the story of Yen-Nhi Le, the daughter of a war refugee, on her journey of understanding her father, the war and herself.
Yen-Nhi Le (22) grew up in Maarssen, a small town near Utrecht. Her father is a refugee from Huế in Vietnam. She struggles with her own identity and has questions about her father, a difficult man with a mysterious past. Why is he the way that he is, and where does his behavior come from?
In ‘Scars of War’, the documentary short directed by writer/creator Orihana Calcines (23), Yen-Nhi speaks in a disarmingly open way with her childhood friend, her Dutch grandfather, her mother, a trauma specialist and her sister. What is it like growing up between two cultures, and how does a war find ways to stay with you? All encounters lead up to the conversation with her father that she has been yearning for.
Yen-Nhi: “Starting this conversation with my father has brought me so many incredible things. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but after this confrontation, I feel connected with him, my family and my roots again. If this inspires people to start an open conversation, I have achieved my goal. Understanding each other is a great way to start healing. ”
"Understanding each other is a great way to start healing."
The director/editor was born in Venezuela, on a different continent with a completely different culture. Still, she shares specific experiences with Yen-Nhi and her family.
Orihana: “When Yen-Nhi told me that she used to have to translate letters for her parents, just like I used to do, it all clicked for me. On paper we seem very different, but so much is exactly the same: you never feel completely at home, you have a strange relationship with your parents, it’s difficult to relate to Dutch children. This helped me a lot with processing a certain shame. We are not as alone as we think we are.”
"We are not as alone as we think we are."