Children of the Mist

Extraordinary... riveting... first-rate... beautifully presented.


Children of the Mist

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.

"Diem’s intimate access and sensitive approach, together with editor Swann Dubus’ keen eye for texture and detail, make for a compelling and eye-opening drama." ~ Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily

"[There is] no question about the skillful, artistically effective quality of this film." ~ Chris Knipp, Writing: Movies

Children of the Mist is an excellent documentary that showcases an appalling phenomenon with brutal realism and through a rather artful approach." ~ Panos Kotzathanasis, Asian Movie Pulse

"Shattering...thought-provoking...." ~ Phuong Le, The Guardian

"[A]n empathetic and moving portrait of a fractured childhood...." ~ Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
Not Rated
Documentary, Women and Film, Culture Vulture
Hmong, Vietnamese
Hà Lệ Diễm
Ma Thi Di
Phuong Le, Guardian

Di, the 13-year-old Hmong girl at the heart of Ha Le Diem’s shattering documentary, has a beautiful, infectious laugh that rings through the misty mountains of northern Vietnam where she lives with her family in a small village. With her big eyes and rosy cheeks, Di has an endearing mischievousness ...

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