Zéro de conduite: Story of Kindness

Zéro de conduite: Story of Kindness

“Once, in a discussion about filmmaking, an annoyed friend reproached me in an odd way. ‘Only animals turn away from human suffering and busy themselves looking after their own skins.’ That is a merciless and inadmissible statement. I doubt if it was his own. He probably borrowed it from somewhere.” – Tran Van Thuy1


“First I say: ‘Everything in a film is a form’. So I oppose the widespread misunderstanding about documentary. Even if it is documentary, it is not true: it’s a form, edited material, fiction. But then I take it back and I say: ‘It’s also someone I lived with: see you!’” – Johan van der Keuken


For this evening Zéro de conduite selected a program around the committed and vibrant film Chuyen tu te [The Story of Kindness or How to Behave] (1985/1987) by the Vietnamese documentary filmmaker Tran Van Thuy. Dying of cancer, the cameraman Dong Xuan Thuyet asks his friends to make a film on the subject of ‘tu te’, on human relations, fraternity or, simply, kindness. “The idea of tu te has its origin in two old Chinese-Vietnamese words. Tu means the smallest element. Te is the most subtle matter. These two words combined mean that we have to pay attention to the smallest details.” A film evening on kindness, sensibility and how to engage with the world and its dwellers.


Chuyen tu te [The Story of Kindness or How to Behave] (Tran Van Thuy, 1985/1987)

Vier muren (Johan van der Keuken, 1965)

Herman Slobbe / Blind kind 2 (Johan van der Keuken, 1966)


In 2013 the documentary filmmakers Elias Grootaers, Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes founded the production and distribution platform Zéro de conduite. The name is a reference to Jean Vigo’s eponymous film made in 1933, a lyrical ode to youthful rebellion. 

  • 1Tran Van Thuy in Chuyen tu [The Story of Kindness or How to Behave] (Tran Van Thuy, 1985/1987).
05 Nov 2014 - 05 Nov 2014
Beursschouwburg, Brussels