CHILDREN OF THE MIST at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
In a village hidden in the mist-shrouded Northwest Vietnamese mountains resides an indigenous Hmong community, home to 12-year-old Di, part of the first generation of her people with access to formal education. A free spirit, Di happily recounts her experiences to Vietnamese filmmaker Diễm Hà Lệ, who planted herself within Di’s family over the course of three years to document this unique coming of age. As Di grows older, her carefree childhood gives way to an impulsive and sensitive adolescence, a dangerous temperament for what will happen next; in this insular community, girls must still endure the controversial but accepted tradition of “bride kidnapping.” One night, when the young girl’s parents return home from celebrating the Lunar New Year, they are shocked to find their house is silent: Di has disappeared.
Winner of the Best Directing award at IDFA and short listed for this year’s Oscars, Diễm’s documentary is a tender portrait of a community on the cusp between tradition and modernity, and one girl tragically stuck in the middle.
Hmong/Vietnamese | 1 hour 32 minutes | NR
“Shattering…thought-provoking….” The Guardian
“‘Children of the Mist’ is an excellent documentary that showcases an appalling phenomenon with brutal realism and through a rather artful approach.” Asian Movie Pulse
“Top 20 Documentary of 2022. Children of the Mist is deceptively restrained in its first half, but that leads to a finale that’s raw in its pain and anguish. This is sobering filmmaking that illustrates a terrible injustice and the patriarchal attitudes that keep it thriving.” Paste Magazine