national boomerang
bravo whiskey
if I were in Vietnam
my kill
declaimed poetry

distant lover
my father reading marx for the first time

first in - last out

My father served a two-year stint as a U.S. Marine and survived a thirteen-month combat tour of Vietnam. While there he wrote over 300 letters to my mother. While looking through these letters I discovered the answer to a question he had always refused to ask my father: had he ever killed anyone? Through a number of intense close-ups of my father's handwriting, the viewer is allowed to read along one word at a time. Intercut between the shots of the letter has been positioned the unfolding of a poem-song written by the Vietnamese poet Han Mac Tu and performed by Le thi Nahn. The two texts begin to merge into one sorrowful cry, a meditation on loneliness, separation, longing, and death.

Curt Bozif

Declaimed Poetry was included in the Cambofest: Film and Video Festival of Cambodia of 2009. Cambofest 2009 took place on December 4th through the 6th in Kampot, Cambodia. Please visit their website for more details.

Declaimed Poetry, 2008, video, 5:44