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Architects, netizens make film against ‘tree massacre’ in Vietnam capital

Friday, March 27, 2015, 13:56 GMT+7
Architects, netizens make film against ‘tree massacre’ in Vietnam capital
These trees have been felled as part of a plan to lop 6,700 trees in downtown Hanoi from 2015 to 2017.

A number of architects and netizens in Hanoi and elsewhere are working on a documentary to protest against the capital’s plan to fell 6,700 trees.

A documentary, “6,700 Nguoi Vi 6,700 Cay Xanh” (6,700 People for 6,700 Trees), has recently been launched by Am-Architecture Movies Club, local media reported.

The club was founded by Ashui, a brand name created by an overseas Vietnamese student, in 2000. has grown to be a popular forum which gathers local and international architects, according to the website.

The upcoming film is jointly produced by Hanoi Lovers, a popular online community, and is patronized by the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association (VUPDA), according to The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) newspaper.

“6,700 Nguoi Vi 6,700 Cay Xanh” is inspired by “Urbanized,” the third part of Gary Hustwit’s design film trilogy, the newspaper cited the film producers as saying.

“Urbanized” is a feature-length documentary about the design of cities, which delves into the issues and strategies behind urban design, its director’s website said.

The makers of “6,700 Nguoi Vi 6,700 Cay Xanh” decided to make the film amidst the heated public outcry against Hanoi authorities’ plan to lop 6,700 of the city’s 120,000 trees from 2015 to 2017 at an estimated cost of around VND60 billion ($2.82 million).

The plan was prepared after a survey launched by the Department of Construction and Hanoi Green Trees-Park Co. Ltd. in 2014 found that the 6,700 trees are aged, decaying or encroaching on the streets, of which many large trees are posing a threat to people and vehicles as they can fall at any time.

Since the city started carrying out the plan on March 19, many people have protested it because some of the trees which have been felled – as many as 500 – included those that were still growing well.

The plan has been suspended given such pressure from the public.

Under the consultancy of veteran film director Dang Nhat Minh, the one-hour documentary is expected to be released in one month’s time.

The filmmakers are taking a large part of the footage and photos of Hanoi’s lush trees from their 2014 locally-winning “Hanoi Fly” project, which offered unique views of Hanoi through the use of drones. 

They have also launched a fan page on Facebook to call for contributions of photos and video clips on the capital’s fauna from netizens, Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.

The film will be released for free in different forms to gather the community’s support against the tree felling plan.

Many youngsters have stuck the appeal "Do Not Cut Me" on the trunks of myriad trees around the city, and set up a Facebook page, "6,700 People for 6,700 Trees,” which had attracted more than 58,000 "likes" as of Friday.

Others have also wrapped yellow ribbons around the trees as a token of protecting them from harm, and joined “Tree Hugs Picnic,” which took place along with a slew of green activities at Thien Quang Lake in Hai Ba Trung District on Sunday last week.

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