Wartime epic involving a poverty-stricken family who struggle to make ends meet, and the mother who does the unthinkable to provide her daughters with the traditional silk dresses required to attend school.
1920s. Vietnam under colonial French ruling. Anti-French rebellions emerge all over the country to disrupt the foreign occupiers. In respond, the colonialist employed units of Vietnamese ... See full summary »
In an old house in Hanoi, Bi, a 6-year-old child lives with his parents, his aunt and their cook. His favorite playgrounds are an ice factory and the wild grass along the river. After being... See full summary »
Set along the southern coast of Vietnam during the French occupation in the 1940s, water is everywhere, giving life and bringing decay and rot. Kim is 15; his father and step-mother have ... See full summary »
The Lu Le,
Thi Kieu Trinh Nguyen,
Huu Thanh Nguyen
A young man who struggles through life by earning some money with his bicycle-taxi in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) gets contact to a group of criminals. They introduce him to the mafia-world ... See full summary »
Tran Anh Hung
Le Van Loc,
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
Tran Nu Yên-Khê
With the brilliant Vietnamese summer as a setting Vertical Ray of the Sun is beautiful from beginning to end. The plot centres around three sisters, two of whom are happily married (or so ... See full summary »
Tran Anh Hung
Tran Nu Yên-Khê,
Nhu Quynh Nguyen,
A little girl, Mui, went to a house as a new servant. The mother still mourns the death of her daughter, who would have been Mui's age. In her mind she treated Mui as her daughter. 10 years... See full summary »
Tran Anh Hung
Tran Nu Yên-Khê,
Man San Lu,
Thi Loc Truong
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 ... See full summary »
Linh, the recipient of a heart transplant, begins having nightmares and visions leading to a house in the remote countryside. She begins to believe that the previous owner of the heart, a ... See full summary »
The film portrays the life of a family separated from the mainstream of modern society, yet containing within its microcosm the complex layers and dramas of human relationship: conjugal ... See full summary »
Phan Quang Binh Nguyen
Tang Thanh Ha,
Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc,
The love story of Dan (a beautiful young woman) and Gu (a humpback), servants from two separate households in Ha Dong, Vietnam who have suffered most of their lives at the hands of their cruel masters. The couple flee south soon after Gu presents Dan with a wedding gift - the precious white silk dress his mother had owned (his one valuable possession), while he promises her a proper marriage someday in the future. The couple arrive in the seaside town of Hoi An and build a new life, with Dan ultimately giving birth to 4 daughters. Despite struggling through immense poverty and hardships, the family is happy and fulfilled as long as they have each other, but the horrors of the encroaching war brings tragedy and threatens to tear them apart. Written by
This film is truly a great accomplishment for Vietnam and the Vietnamese-American director. Despite having a budget of roughly only two million USD, it is the most expensive film ever produced by the country.
The film is able to capture the authentic essence of Vietnamese culture through the story and themes; mainly that of suffering and respect for parents. The story follows the life of a poor hunchbacked man and a servant woman from North Vietnam who experience suffering through war and living in poverty.
The film is heart wrenching as the painful scenes are not over dramatized or unbelievable. You really grieve for the family, and even life at points. This film certainly has no happy ending because it remains true to the lives of many Vietnamese people.
The film's shortcomings are mainly technical issues, which are due to the small film industry in Vietnam and the inexperienced production company. Despite those problems, the cinematography is beautiful and the film has many impressive scenes without the use of CGI or special effects.
This film was incredibly hard for me to obtain. As of summer 2008, there is no commercial release in Vietnam (due to rampant pirating), NA or Europe. Only Taiwan has released a DVD. This was the one I purchased and I was hoping the distributor would do a good job of presenting the film, but I was disappointed. The DVD presents the film in a matted 4:3 screen and the transfer is quite poor. You would think the film was much older based on the quality. The authentic DVD wasn't cheap either, so it was quite disappointing.
This film deserves to be seen by many and hopefully we will see some release in the future that does justice to the original material.
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