The crew also contacted French researchers for interviews.
In 30 years to find the way to save Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh have four years living in France. So, entitled Nguyen Ai Quoc — The Unknown in France was produced by a film crew from Vietnam Television International, focusing on the President’s time in France.
Vietnam Television decide to focus on that period because, they think that this period was key to changing President Ho Chi Minh’s thinking. The film crew went to The National Overseas Archives and Department of Memory and Cultural Affairs — Office of the Prefect of Police (DMCAOP) to seek documents about Nguyen Ai Quoc in France.
According to director Tran Thu Ha, the documents in DMCAOP are an important resouce for research on Nguyen Ai Quoc. Many of them are sealed secret and top secret. The resource is objective because it was written by French police and French units which watched Nguyen Ai Quoc during his time in France and until he became President.
The Vietnam Television International film crew was the first Vietnamese film crew given permission to access Nguyen Ai Quoc documents and shoot at DMCAOP. The 50 minute-documentary will show Nguyen Ai Quoc’s identity card to Vietnamese viewers for the first time. The filmmakers found the document, issued on Spetember 4, 1919, when they went to DMCAOP.
It took about six months to complete the documentary, including one-month shooting in France and Vietnam. Outside scenes were shot in France and inside scenes were in Vietnam. Two Vietnamese students in France played Nguyen Ai Quoc and a French policeman.
The crew also contacted French researchers for interviews. The interviewees include historians Daniel Héméry; Pierre Brocheux and Alain Ruscio; author and journalist Madelaine Riffaud; Professor Pierre Journoud; Vietnamese - French professor Trinh Van Thao and former mayor of Montreuil Jean Pierre Brard.
“Nguyen Ai Quoc — The Unknown” director said, they are 90 years old and older. Many of them live in seclusion and haven’t appeared in mass media in the last ten years. It took a long time to convince them to appear. Some of them met President Ho Chi Minh.
“Nguyen Ai Quoc — The Unknown” in France be shown on VTV’s channel 1 at 8.10pm in May 18 on the occassion of the 127th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh.