Which Way Is East | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Which Way Is East


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In 1992 Bay Area filmmaker Lynne Sachs joined her journalist sister Dana in Saigon, and together they trekked north to Hanoi, recording the sights and sounds along the way. Some of the folk aphorisms and reminiscences they collected from villagers and war survivors are part of the narration of this short documentary, interspersed with sometimes piously liberal commentaries by the Sachses on their impressions of both the Vietnam they experienced and the one they recall from the TV coverage more than two decades ago, during their childhood. The sound track is layered with the cacophony of bustling city streets and the chirps of cicadas and gentle rustles of trees in the countryside, and the visuals, devoid of travelog cliches, are a collage of pictorial snippets taken from unusual vantage points, some of them double-exposed or processed through an optical printer, Sachs's favorite gadget. What comes through is such a strong sense of the place you can almost smell it. Two earlier half-hour experimental documentaries by Sachs will also be shown: Sermons and Sacred Pictures: The Life and Work of Reverend L.O. Taylor, a candid bio of the Memphis preacher and filmmaker, and The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts, a feminist critique of the Western notion of the body. Sachs will be on hand to discuss her work after the screening. Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Sunday, April 24, 7:30, 384-5533.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo.

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