FALL 2023 RELEASE
This new documentary, Even the Women Must Fight, brings to film for the first time the voices of Vietnamese women who took up arms to support Ho Chi Minh’s armies after the US bombed their northern villages. These women’s narratives of war and homecoming and the rare historical footage from Northern Vietnamese combat photographers that documents their courage and competence under fire, challenge stereotypes of Vietnamese women as passive victims in the image of Miss Saigon.
The old Vietnamese proverb: “When the enemy comes close to home, even the women must fight,” speaks to a long history of women who took up arms to defend their nation against outside invaders. Inspired by this tradition of martial women, propelled out of their homes after the US bombed their northern villages in 1965, thousands of teenage girls volunteered to join Ho Chi Minh’s armies. Hidden in the dense jungles that sheltered the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the war, invisible to the US pilots whose lethal weapons wrought death and destruction, they were then erased from histories after the war. Phan Thanh Hao, a Hanoi based writer and translator, and Karen Turner, a US based historian and filmmaker, worked with the veterans of one company of volunteer youth to secure interviews that form the basis of this film. When Vietnamese women speak, a contested, male dominated, war story changes forever.
A FILM BY KAREN TURNER'S MARCH 8 PRODUCTIONS,
EDITED AND PRODUCED WITH MICHAEL T. BARRY JR., MT BARRY PRODUCTIONS
WINNER, BEST SHORT FILM, 2023 PRINCE GEORGE'S FILM FESTIVAL
WINNER, BEST WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FILM, 2023 ROTTERDAM INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL