Past screening

Indochina: Traces of a Mother

Directed by: Idrissou Mora-Kpai
Runtime: 1hr 11min Year: 2011
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Directed by: Idrissou Mora-Kpai
Runtime: 1hr 11min Year: 2011
Country: France, Benin
Last Screened: Wed 7th Jun 2017

Between 1946 and 1954, over 60,000 African soldiers were enlisted to fight the Viet Minh.

Pitted against one another by circumstances, these two colonised peoples came into contact and a number of African soldiers took Vietnamese women as wives. Out of these unions, numerous children were born.

At the end of the war, the colonial army ordered that all the children be repatriated to Africa, officially to protect them from the Viet Minh. While some children left with their mothers and fathers, others were simply taken away by their fathers, leaving their mothers behind. Abandoned in orphanages, those that had neither mother nor father were put up for mass adoption by African officers, as was the case with Christophe.

Christophe long avoided facing the scars and identity complexes left by this abrupt separation from his mother and homeland. By encouraging him to undertake a journey into his own past, this film opens a little-known chapter of the Indochina war.