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Du Thi Thanh Nga
August 11, 1956
|Occupation||Actress, filmmaker, singer, activist|
(m. 1974;died 1996)
Tiana Alexandra-Silliphant (Thi Thanh Nga; August 11, 1956) is a Vietnamese-American actress and filmmaker. Her indie movie From Hollywood to Hanoiwas the first American documentary feature film shot in Vietnam by a Vietnamese-American. Tiana's life's work, Why Viet Nam? is about her personal story as a child of war and a widow of peace.
Alexandra made her feature film debut in Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite , co-written by her husband Stirling Silliphant. Currently, Alexandra is director of Hampton-Silliphant Productions with Sir Christopher Hampton.
Alexandra was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1956. Her father Dư Phước Long, was a South Vietnamese politician, serving as Director of Press in Saigon and Cultural Attaché in Washington DC for the US allied administration of President Ngô Đình Diệm.
Alexandra's father moved the family to Fairfax, Virginia, in 1966 after the assassination of President Diệm. He worked at the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC, and pursued studies at Georgetown University's Diplomatic School and Johns Hopkins University's Graduate School of Advanced International Studies. He became Patrick Du Long and became a scriptwriter and newscaster for the Voice of America. He authored a book, The Dream Shattered: Vietnamese Gangs in America.In 1998, he was a candidate for the California State Assembly.
As a child of war refugee, the pre-teen attended [[Thomas Jefferson Jr. High School in Arlington Virginia during the worst years of desegregation. After being beat up in the girl's room for being Vietnamese, Tiana sought out Bruce Lee as her Jeet Kune Do Self Defense master. Bruce, who was not yet the international movie star, honed her interest in both the performing arts and martial arts. GrandMaster Jhoon Rhee crowned her TianaKaratePrincess and introduced her to his best friend Bruce Lee, at his National Tournament in Washington, DC. Bruce Lee introduced Alexandra to his best friend Stirling Silliphant who was "Hollywood highest paid screenwriter".Silliphant had written Lee into numerous TV shows, including Longstreet , an original two hour TV pilot called The Way of the Intercepting Fist. He believed in Bruce so much that he wrote the young Bruce into his script of Raymond Chandler's Marlowe. Silliphant had also written most of the episodes for the acclaimed television series Route 66 , and won an Oscar for Best Screenplay on the feature film In the Heat of the Night .
Alexandra and Stirling Silliphant were married in a ceremony at Chasen's Restaurant in West Hollywood on July 4, 1974. As reported by CBS News, the celebrity event included Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, William Holden and Henry Mancini.
Silliphant's blockbuster films The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno , coupled with his newlywed status with Alexandra, led to their joint appearances on television talk and game shows such as The Mike Douglas Show ,The Reed Ferrell Show and Tattletales during the mid-1970s.
Alexandra made her film debut in Sam Peckinpah's martial-arts thriller The Killer Elite with Robert Duvall and James Caan.She was the first Vietnamese-American to join the Screen Actors Guild.
In 1978, Alexandra starred with Angie Dickenson, Robert Wagner and Dennis Weaver as Holly Nagata in the ABC mini-series Pearl ,which dramatized the events surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1981, Alexandra starred with Bruce Boxleitner and Brian Dennehy as Mai, a Vietnamese medic in the Warner Bros. made-for-television feature film Fly Away Home.The film critically examined the entanglement of politics and human suffering on the ground during the Vietnam War.
As an Asian actress breaking through racial stereotypes, Alexandra was invited to speak out on the realities of Hollywood typecasting at venues such as the Philippine Film Festival, where she appeared with Robert Duvall in the Symposium on Film Acting.
Alexandra starred as reporter Jan Du Long in an Aaron Spelling produced made-for-TV movie The Three Kings (1987).That same year she starred opposite Rod Steiger as Checkers Goldberg in the Kung Fu feature sendup, Catch The Heat.
With her martial arts finesse at top form in 1986, Alexandra produced a fitness program called Karatecize, combining elements of dance, combat art and original pop music.Martial arts champion Eric Lee collaborated with Alexandra on the self-defense segments of the show.
Between 1983 and 1985, Alexandra was managed by Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones and created numerous pop songs and music videos for radio and MTV. Her "Dumped On", [ citation needed ]"Lust In The Jungle", and "Free As I Want To Be" music videos were shot on location in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Yugoslavia and Los Angeles.
Alexandra's music video of Bruce Lee, "Feel The Heat", was revamped in congruence with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 40th Anniversary Celebration of Bruce Lee's breakout film, Enter the Dragon.
In 1988, Alexandra began pre-production on her first film, From Hollywood to Hanoi.Stemming from a trip taken earlier that year with a delegation of Vietnam veterans and filmmakers (in part on the advice of Alexandra's acting teacher Sandra Seacat, who predicted that a return to Alexandra's roots would prove enormously empowering), the feature-length documentary was written, produced and directed by Alexandra, and executive produced by Oliver Stone—who had himself taken part in Alexandra's delegation to Hanoi, and strongly urged her to record the experience on film. From Hollywood to Hanoi was the first American film shot on location in Viet Nam.
It was shown at top film festivalsand movie theaters across the U.S. and highlighted the plight of Amerasians, as well as the devastating effects of Agent Orange. It received acclaimed by New York Times and LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Variety, Hollywood Report, Boston Globe, Playboy, Washington Post and Time Magazine. Notable personalities including Allen Ginsberg, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, and Studs Turkel became Alexandra's fans. But distribution was non-existent at the time for award-winning documentaries so the film's volunteer team led by the poet Steven Kauffman distributed the film in theaters and with Alexandra touring across America's college campuses.
Alexandra is focusing on her Viet Nam Trilogy after her husband Stirling launched her on a mission of a lifetime to return to her roots in Viet Nam and make films for healing and reconciliation. Together with Oliver Stone they formed IndoChina Film Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization also known as Film Arts Foundation International. With over 30 years of filming in Viet Nam, Alexandra owns the world's most extensive library of footage shot in post-war Viet Nam over the last 3 decades.[ citation needed ] Post production will resume in Europe and Viet Nam to premiere April 30th 2025, the 50th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon/ Liberation of Vietnam. Alexandra collaborates with distinguished writers and playwrights including Oscar winner Christopher Hampton and legendary composer, Philip Glass.
From Hollywood To Hanoi went into theatrical release in 1995, and was broadcast as part of the HBO Cinemax Vanguard Cinema series.It was well received by critics: Kevin Thomas of the LA Times lauded it as "moving and engrossing", and Vincent Canby of The New York Times hailed it as "an intense, personal, supremely self-confident feature."
The film was named "Best of the Fest" at Telluride Film Festival,and was nominated for "Best Non-Fiction Film" at Sundance International Festival, where it was presented by Michael Moore. The film was also screened on Capitol Hill to help lift the trade embargo by then Senator John Kerry.
Alexandra was invited to participate in the International Women's Day with Betty Friedan, Stevie Wonder and Barbara Trent.Tiana made feature guest appearances to talk about her film on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, The PBS News Hour with Charlayne Hunter Gault, and The KTLA Morning News with Regis Philbin.
During three years of filming in Vietnam,[ when? ] Alexandra interviewed several former enemies of the U.S., who occupied high seats of power. They included Phạm Văn Đồng, and Lê Đức Thọ, a politician and diplomat who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973. Lê Đức Thọ declined the award.
Alexandra also conducted interviews with General Võ Nguyên Giáp, the man Ho Chi Minh appointed to lead the North Vietnamese Army, which was victorious over the French and the Americans in the Indochina and Vietnam Wars.She was the first Westerner to interview Giáp after the Vietnam War, and returned to interview him several times, along with his wife, Co Ha, and their children over the next 25 years.
The aftermath of the war and trade embargoes left Vietnam the fifth poorest country in the world.Despite travel restrictions and her father's admonitions not to go, Alexandra returned to Vietnam with film crews to shoot From Hollywood to Hanoi, and a series of follow up films.
Alexandra co-founded the Indochina Film Arts Foundation with Oliver Stone in 1993 to organize cooperative projects in the fine arts, theater, film, educational workshops, lectures and radio broadcast. Projects were presented at the Viet Nam Cinema Dept. & Filmmakers Association in Hanoi, the Asian American Film Festivals in New York City and Los Angeles, the Cinéma Festival du Réel at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, and the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington DC. Alexandra has been a featured radio guest on NPR's Fresh Air Program with Terry Gross,as well as the Pacifica Network stations WBAI FM in New York, KFAI FM in Minneapolis and KPFK FM in Los Angeles.
Alexandra has lectured at Bennington College, Bryn Mawr College, Harvard University, Columbia University, Notre Dame University, University of Southern California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Barbara and Stanford University.[ citation needed ] She was a panelist in the "My Lai 25 Years After" conference at Tulane University. Alexandra was also appointed Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Film Studies at Dartmouth College in 1993.[ citation needed ]
Since 1998, the Indochina Film Arts Foundation has conducted ongoing production workshops to advance the skills of aspiring Vietnamese filmmakers. Operations are based at Riva Studios in Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi Cinematique.
In 2013, Indochina Film Arts Foundation began doing business as Film Arts Foundation.
In 2000, Alexandra explored the Plain of Jars region of Laos to document the effects of carpet-bombing and unexploded ordnance on local populations. Her Bomb Art Project collected scraps of ordnance for artists to fashion into sculpture. The Bomb Art Project and Bombs Away mini-documentary were publicly presented at the Bergamot Station Art Center in Los Angeles.
Alexandra also documented the 30th Anniversary Reunion of Associated Press War Photographers in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005. Her documentary, Requiem, featured Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists and photojournalists Peter Arnett, and Nick Ut, as well as the local Vietnamese youth culture that had moved on from the war.
In 2007, Alexandra went on world tour with Oscar and Tony winning author Christopher Hampton to help manage and promote his work on the feature film Atonement . Hampton was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) on the film.
A Tony Award Celebration was organized by Alexandra in 2009 in conjunction with the successful run of Yazmina Reza's Broadway play God of Carnage . The event celebrated the play's seven Tony nominations and three wins, and honored author Christopher Hampton's 50 plays and screenplays.James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Philip Glass and Phillip Noyce participated in the short documentary that Alexandra created from the event.
In 2009 Alexandra filmed an odyssey to find the spirit of Michael Jackson in Beverly Hills and Viet Nam, with Le Ly Hayslip - the author and subject of Oliver Stone's feature film Heaven and Earth . Le Ly and Tiana visited the site of Jackson's death and documented the throngs of impersonators carrying on his legacy in both the U.S. and Vietnam.
As co-owner of Christopher Hampton's stage play The Talking Cure , Alexandra was instrumental in developing the project into a feature film directed by David Cronenberg. The film, retitled A Dangerous Method ,starred Michael Fassbender as Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung, and Keira Knightley as his patient and mistress. Alexandra is credited as Associate Producer on the 2011 release.
In 2012, Alexandra and Christopher Hampton formed Hampton Silliphant Management & Productions, which presented the play Appomattox at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The play concerns itself with historic events in America, 100 years apart in time: the historic meeting between Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1865, and the 1965 shooting of a Baptist church deacon during a peaceful civil rights protest in Alabama.
Alexandra's film The General & Mefocuses on her 25-year relationship with General Võ Nguyên Giáp, Ho Chi Minh's trusted military strategist during the Indochina and Vietnam Wars.
Võ Nguyên Giáp was an army general in the Vietnam People's Army and a politician. Võ Nguyên Giáp has been called one of the greatest military strategists of the 20th century. He first rose to prominence during World War II, where he served as the military leader of the Viet Minh resistance against the Japanese occupation of Vietnam and also as Defence Minister & Deputy Prime Minister for nearly 44 years. Giáp was a crucial military commander in two wars: the First Indochina War of 1946–1954, and the Vietnam War of 1955–1975, participating in several historically significant battles: Cao Bằng in 1950, Hòa Bình in 1951–1952, Điện Biên Phủ in 1954, the Tết Offensive in 1968, the Easter Offensive in 1972, and the final Ho Chi Minh Campaign of 1975.
Việt Minh was a national independence coalition formed at Pác Bó by Hồ Chí Minh on May 19, 1941. The Việt Nam Độc Lập Đồng Minh Hội had previously formed in Nanjing, China, at some point between August 1935 and early 1936 when Vietnamese nationalist parties formed an anti-imperialist united front. This organization soon lapsed into inactivity, only to be revived by the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) and Hồ Chí Minh in 1941. The Việt Minh established itself as the only organized anti-French and anti-Japanese resistance group. The Việt Minh initially formed to seek independence for Vietnam from the French Empire. The United States supported France. When the Japanese occupation began, the Việt Minh opposed Japan with support from the United States and the Republic of China. After World War II, the Việt Minh opposed the re-occupation of Vietnam by France, resulting in the Indochina War, and later opposed South Vietnam and the United States in the Vietnam War. The political leader and founder of Việt Minh was Hồ Chí Minh. The military leadership was under the command of Võ Nguyên Giáp. Other founders were Lê Duẩn and Phạm Văn Đồng.
The Viet Cong, also known as the National Liberation Front of Southern Vietnam or FNL, was an armed communist political revolutionary organization in South Vietnam and Cambodia. Its military force, the Liberation Army of South Vietnam (LASV), fought against the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War, eventually emerging on the winning side. The LASV had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory the Viet Cong controlled. During the war, communist insurgents and anti-war activists claimed that the Viet Cong was an insurgency indigenous to the South, while the U.S. and South Vietnamese governments portrayed the group as a tool of North Vietnam.
Tonkin, also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is an exonym referring to the northern region of Vietnam. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this term referred to the domain Đàng Ngoài under Trịnh lords' control, including both the Northern and Thanh-Nghệ regions, north of the Gianh River. From 1884 to early 1945, this term was used for the French protectorate of Tonkin, composed of only the Northern region.
The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on December 19, 1946, and lasted until July 20, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Việt Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh and the People's Army of Vietnam led by Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.
Trần Anh Hùng is a Vietnamese-born French film director.
Stirling Dale Silliphant was an American screenwriter and producer. He is best remembered for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967, and for creating the television series Naked City and Route 66. Other features as screenwriter include the Irwin Allen productions The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.
The Killer Elite is a 1975 American action thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah and written by Marc Norman and Stirling Silliphant, adapted from the Robert Syd Hopkins novel Monkey in the Middle. It stars James Caan and Robert Duvall as a pair of elite mercenaries who become bitter rivals and are caught on opposite sides of a proxy war over a foreign dignitary in the streets of San Francisco.
Diên Biên Phu is a 1992 film written and directed by French veteran Pierre Schoendoerffer. With its huge budget, all-star cast, and realistic war scenes produced with the cooperation of both the French and Vietnamese armed forces, Dîen Bîen Phu is regarded by many as one of the more important war movies produced in French filmmaking history. It portrays the 55-day siege of Dien Bien Phu (1954), the last battle by the French Union's colonial army in the First Indochina War during the final days of French Indochina, which was soon after divided into North and South Vietnam. This was a prelude to the Second Indochina War, known in the United States as the Vietnam War.
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Vietnam National University, Hanoi is a public research university in Vietnam. The university has 10 member colleges and faculties. VNU is Vietnam's national university, and it is the most prestigious university in Vietnam, ranked 201-250th in Asia by the QS ASIA University Rankings 2020. In 2020, it was one of the first two Vietnamese universities to be included in the QS Global Ranking of Top 150 universities under 50 years old by 2021.
The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng or the Nationalist Party of Vietnam, abbreviated VNQDĐ or Việt Quốc, was a nationalist and moderate socialist political party that sought independence from French colonial rule in Vietnam during the early 20th century. Its origins lie in the mid-1920s, when a group of young Hanoi-based intellectuals began publishing revolutionary material. In 1927, after the publishing house failed because of French harassment and censorship, the VNQDD was formed under the leadership of Nguyễn Thái Học. Modelling itself on the Kuomintang of Nationalist China the VNQDD gained a following among northerners, particularly teachers and intellectuals. The party, which was less successful among peasants and industrial workers, was organised in small clandestine cells.
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On December 19, 1946, Viet Minh soldiers detonated explosives in Hanoi, and the ensuing battle, known as the Battle of Hanoi marked the opening salvo of the First Indochina War.
This article presents an overview of the Sports in Vietnam.
General Võ Nguyên Giáp, who led the Viet Minh forces during the First Indochina War and the North Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War, died on October 4, 2013, after a long stay at the 108 Hospital in Hanoi. The official Vietnamese news agency did not officially confirm it until a day later, when they announced a two-day national funeral to be held the following week, on October 12 and 13, which would be presided by all the top government officials. His body laid in state at the National Funeral House in Hanoi on October 12, before being buried in his home province of Quảng Bình the following day. His funeral was broadcast live nationwide by the state broadcasters, VTV and VOV.
The Haiphong Incident or the Haiphong Massacre occurred on November 23, 1946, when the French cruiser Suffren bombarded the Vietnamese coastal city of Haiphong, killing some 6,000 Vietnamese people. The incident, also known as the Shelling of Haiphong, is thought of as the first armed clash in a series of events that would lead to the Battle of Hanoi on December 19, 1946, and with it the official outbreak of the First Indochina War.
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