Vietnam

Kim Quy Bui – Nguoi truyen giong (2014)

In the curious story of this magic-realistic film, the customs of ethnic mountain peoples in Vietnam are linked to the idiosyncrasies of modern art. There are three protagonists, who live on a lonely mountain. They are the old father and his two children: his beautiful, nubile daughter and a mentally handicapped son. Tradition dictates that the son first has to marry in order to ensure the male family line is continued. For that, young men go to the annual marriage market, but the undesirable son returns every year without a bride. The old man is determined that his son will father a child before he dies and takes unusual measures to ensure this.

The film was banned in its own country, primarily because of the sexual themes, but also possibly because of its unruly form. Read More »

Ash Mayfair – The Third Wife (2018)

Synopsis:
19th century rural Vietnam, fourteen-year-old May is ready to become the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Little did she know that her hidden desires will take her by surprise and force her to make a choice between living in safety and being free. Read More »

Quang Hai Ngo – Chuyen cua Pao AKA Pao’s Story (2006)

Set in a breath-taking primitive landscape in the mountainous provinces of Vietnam, the film tells the story of a Hmong tribe girl named Pao. She was raised by her stepmother, for her real mother left her when she was little. One day, her stepmother dies in an accident, and she begins to track down her birth mother. But her journey turns out to disclose an unsealed sentimental drama of the family in the past. Read More »

Linh Viet – Ganh xiec rong AKA The Travelling Circus (1988)

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One of the most acclaimed Vietnamese films of the 1980s, The Traveling Circus won numerous international awards, including Grand Prix at Fribourg Third world Film Festival, Audience Award at Uppsala (Sweden) International Film Festival and First Prize at Madrid Women’s Film Festival. With obvious influences from Bergman, DeSica and Fellini, director Viet Linh tells the bittersweet story of a small traveling circus from Hanoi stopping in an impoverished ethnic minority village in Vietnam’s central highlands. Through the eyes of a village youngster, we witness the magic of the circus, and the naïve hope that illusion can be transformed into reality. The Traveling Circus is an extremely realistic, sensitive and moving film, that is rarely shown either in Vietnam or abroad. Read More »

Nhat Minh Dang – Thuong nho dong que aka Nostalgia for the Countryside (1995)

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Powerful and poetic, Nostalgia for the Countryside explores the tensions and traumas of everyday life in a rural Vietnamese village. The arrival from abroad of Quyen, who fled the village as a small girl, coincides with the sexual awakening of 17-year-old Nham, through whose eyes the story unfolds. While picturesque on the surface, the countryside that Quyen dreamed about turns out to be a landscape of poverty, passion and tragedy – though not without pockets of warmth and humor. Read More »

Anh Hung Tran – Mùi du du xanh aka L’odeur de la papaye verte aka The Scent of Green Papaya (1993) (HD)

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Quote:

Tran Anh Hung’s film is beautiful. Its colors are still, hushed, and
translucent. Limpid greens and abundant yellows, deep blues, the pearly
whiteness found inside papayas. The film’s tones and textures seem to slow
the storyline, drenching it with a kind of denseness, a sense of ongoing
history.

Set in Saigon during the 1950s and early ’60s, _The Scent of Green
Papaya_ is necessarily conflicted beneath this calm surface. Before the
American War, Vietnam was not divided into North and South, but its class
and political systems were already in trouble. Read More »

Anh Hung Tran – Xich lo AKA Cyclo (1995)

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A “cyclo” is a bicycle-drawn taxi similar to a rickshaw, and, in this story, the nickname of an 18-year-old boy trying to scrape together a living in the desperate poverty of Ho Chi Mihn City. Cyclo lives with his grandfather (Le Kinh Huy) and two sisters (Tran Nu Yen-Khe and Pham Ngoc Lieu), and drives his taxi for a bitter woman (Nhu Quynh Nguyen) who devotes most of her time to her mentally unstable son (Bjuhoang Huy). When the pedal-cab is stolen, Cyclo is forced into a life of crime to repay the debt and falls in with a group of petty thugs led by a self-styled poet (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). What Cyclo doesn’t know at first is that the poet is also a pimp, and he’s been using his romantic wiles to lure Cyclo’s older sister into a career as a prostitute. Cyclo was directed by Tran Anh Hung, whose breakthrough film was the acclaimed drama The Scent of Green Papaya.

— Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Read More »