The video is structured around the tragic archival newsreel footage of the self immolation by Hòa thượng Thích Quảng Đức. The Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on June 11, 1963. His announced act of protest shocked the world and ultimately led to the demise of the American supported Diem regime. The video focuses on three contemporary Vietnamese men, dressed in Vietnam War era uniforms, as they watch in real time a replay of the historic televised suicide. Before I Close My Eyes is structured, shot for shot, after the pivotal mental breakdown scene in Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 film Persona. In this scene Bergman used classic Hollywood narrative film structures (the long shot, medium shot, long shot, developed by D.W. Griffith) in order to create intimate character identification. Persona is, perhaps, the only major narrative film release of its time to use actual newsreel documentary footage while the Vietnam War was being waged.