Five films from Vietnam will be screened in the Country Focus category of 17th International Film Festival of Kerala.
Vietnam cinema, which began in the 1920s, was highly influenced by the war, its consequences and the partition and re-union of Vietnam in the early phase of its evolution. Later two film industries emerged - Hanoi industry which focused on producing government propaganda films while war and comedy films were made by Saigon industry.
In recent years, as Vietnam’s film industry has restructured itself and moved beyond government-backed propaganda films, filmmakers have gained a wider audience. The films included in this category are ‘Mother’s Soul’ directed by Nhue Giang Pham, ‘Don’t Be Afraid Bi’ by Dang Di Phan, ‘When the Tenth Month Comes’ by Nhat Minh Dang, ‘Ms. Tu Hau’ by Pham Ky Nam and ‘The Moon at the Bottom of the Well’ by Nguyen Vinh Son.
‘Mother’s Soul’ revolves around mother-daughter relationship and how it changes in the course of time when both of them fall in love. This film is the screen adaptation of a short story written by famous writer Nguyen Huy. The film released in 2011 won Phung Hoa Hoai Linh the best actress award at the Dubai Film Festival, for her brilliant and outstanding performance as the daughter.
‘Don’t Be Afraid Bi’ directed by Dang Di Phan, who also penned the script, won best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival and also bagged the award for best film in the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. This film is the directorial debut of Dang Di Phan, who is considered the chief exponent of the new wave cinema in the Vietnam film industry. In this film, Dang Di Phan very beautifully narrates the life of a family in Hanoi through the eyes of Bi, a six -year-old boy.
‘Ms. Tu Hau’ directed by Pham Ky Nam, considered as his masterpiece, is the story of a woman in a Vietnam village who has to take care of her daughter and father-in-law while her husband is away fighting in the revolution. Tu Hau personifies the strength and conviction of the Vietnamese woman of that era. This was the second of the seven films by the award winning director.
Wartime melodrama, ‘When the Tenth Month Comes’, directed by Nhat Minh Dang, is about the tragedy of a woman living in a small village who lost her husband in the war and the efforts she makes to keep her family unaware of her husband’s death. This black and white movie released in 1984 had won the special jury award in the Hawaii International Film Festival. This film is still considered by many critics as one of the best films ever made in Vietnam.
The director-actor-producer Nguyen Vinh Son’s ‘The Moon at the Bottom of the Well’, is about the unconventional marriage of a school teacher and school principal. The 2008 film won the Murh Award for best actress in the Dubai International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Kinnaree Award in the 2009 Bangkok International Film Festival.
The Vietnam film industry which was once a Government tool is now on its revival path. The country focus package will be a treat on the silver screen for its audience.