Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2012
Công Binh – La longue nuit indochinoise
Pays concerné : Viet Nam
Durée : 118 minutes
Genre : historique
Type : documentaire


A la veille de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, 20 000 Vietnamiens étaient recrutés de force dans l’Indochine française pour venir dans les usines d’armement françaises. Pris à tort pour des soldats, bloqués en France après la défaite, ces ouvriers appelés Công Binh menaient une vie de parias sous l’Occupation. Considérés injustement comme des traîtres au Viet Nam, ils étaient pourtant tous derrière Ho Chi Minh pour l’Indépendance du pays en 1945.
Une vingtaine de survivants racontent aujourd’hui leur histoire.

de Lam Lê,

2012, Vietnam, Documentaire, 1h58 min. (Festival de Pessac) ou 1h51 min (Festival d’Amsterdam, IDFA 2012)


2012 | 22ème Festival international du film d’Histoire | Pessac, France | 19-26 Novembre 2012
* PRIX DU JURY, catégorie Documentaire

2012 | 32e Festival international du film d’Amiens 2012, France | 16 >24 Novembre 2012
* Sélection

2012 | 25è IDFA 2012 – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam | 14 > 25 Novembre 2012
* Sélection


Công Binh – The Lost Fighters of Vietnam
Elderly Vietnamese men talk about their experiences as colonial forced labor in France during World War II, about gambling addiction and hunger, and about emancipation and pride.

by Lam Lê, France, 2012, color, DCP, 111′

What do you do when war leaves your factories without workers? You steal the young men from your colonies, like France did during World War II. In the age of imperialism, a colony was a reservoir, not only a source of raw materials, but also of manpower. The oldest or youngest sons of families from Indochina (present-day Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) with three or more children were forced to go to work in France. These young men who were shipped off to Europe like animals were called Công Binh. Miraculously, some of them are still alive, now elegant monuments of old age. Their offspring gather around them as they talk about their hardships, because their story is seldom told. Their suffering has never been acknowledged, in either the colonial or post-colonial era. And once they were back in Vietnam, they were looked upon with mistrust. Director Lê Lam tells the story of those Công Binh like someone who knows his way around two different cultures. A refined traditional Vietnamese water puppet play explains to those who were left behind what the Công Binh lived through in the mighty motherland of France, including forced labor, humiliation and hunger. The stories are interspersed with an abundance of archive footage and quotes from the merciless analysis of colonialism by French-Martiniquais intellectual Aimé Césaire. This is a story about hardship and lost youth, but also about political awakening and pride.

Lam Lê

Hoang Duc Ngo Tich
Lam Lê

Lam Lê
Pierre Daum

Lam Lê

Mathieu Descamps

Pascal Verroust, for ADR Productions

Country of Production: France

Contact info
World Sales: Doc & Film International
Screening Copy: Doc & Film International
[email protected]

IDFA 2012
* competitive program: IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
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