Point de départ/Starting Place
1993 / France, Vietnam, UK / French, Vietnamese, English / Color / 80 min / 35mm
Photography: Robert Kramer
Editing: Christine Benoit, Robert Kramer, Marie-Hélène Mora
Sound: Olivier Schwob
Lighting: Nguyen Thuoc
Producers: Richard Copans, Ruben Korenfeld
Production Companies: Les Films d’Ici, La Sept, Association of Vietnamese Filmmakers
Source: Interama INC.
Twenty three years after People’s War, Robert Kramer returned to Hanoi with his camera on his shoulder and his desire to understand the Vietnam of the 1990s. He looks up the Vietnamese that he had met before, meets others, and explores the changes that have occurred over time. He looks for the traces of an itinerary and changes routes continually, fascinated by the faces, gestures, and places that he manages to gather outside of any pre-established scheme. Like a true music score, Starting Place explores a country right in the middle of a great change.
“Many of the ideas that some people died for have been forgotten. It is necessary to read through the pages of recent history. The ‘starting place’ is really after the film. It is now. I could have made this film in another place. The most important thing was not to talk particularly or exclusively about Vietnam, but was, above all, this idea of ‘starting place.’ Because that’s the way things are, we have to start out from a look at what we have experienced over the last thirty years.”
—Robert Kramer (Festival Cinema Giovani 1997)
• Robert Kramer Retrospective | FALN | In the Country | The Edge | Ice | People’s War | Milestones | Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal | Guns | A Great Day in France / Birth | As Fast as You Can | Fear | Doc’s Kingdom | Route One / USA | Dear Doc | Berlin 10/90 | Video Letters: Robert Kramer and Stephen Dwoskin | Leeward | Point de départ / Starting Place | Walk the Walk | The Coat | Ghosts of Electricity | SayKomSa | Cities of the Plain | Against Forgetting