In Hoa Binh, rural area in Northern Vietnam, large expanses of white smoke can be observed every day. Whether at roadsides, in fields, or even backyards, locals light fires every night around 5 p.m. Whether fire is lit in the idea of cleaning, purifying or honouring the deceased, this omnipresent phenomenon becomes obsessive. Inner Smoke is a dance-embodiement of the fire and smoke process, following the Vietnamese cult of the dead culture. This film deals with the space left for renewal after one’s disappearance, while questioning what remains from the past, what we can not see, like ashes that we are no longer paying attention to.
Inner Smoke is also an intimate diary of the two protagonists’ journey in Vietnam. It follows Kim-Sanh Châu (choreographer/dancer) and Ray Lavers (filmmaker) into their creation process. Their dialogues depicts their different perspectives regarding creation and experience in a foreign land.
Co-creation Kim-Sanh Châu Ray Lavers
Music Hazy Montagne Mystique (Chittakone Baccam)
Duration eleven minutes
Shot in Vietnam | Produced in Canada
Original format 35 mm full-frame, 4K pro res