Culture Culture

21/11/2021 - 20:30

Vietnamese movies - Bright spots

127 films participated in the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival; many of which reflect diverse facets of life, touching the audience's hearts.

Scenes from the movie “Camellia Sisters”. Photo: Provided by the film crew

Touching lives

The feature film is always a category that many people are interested in at every film festival. This year, the festival has 25 feature films participating. They are quite rich in themes and diverse in tendency as well as different in styles of the directors from different generations and genres.

Many of them have become blockbusters at the cinemas, raking in great success in revenue. At the top is "Dad, I’m Sorry" of director Vu Ngoc Dang - Tran Thanh, which brought in more than 400 billion VND in the domestic market, making it the highest-grossing Vietnamese film ever.

Prominent names in the Vietnamese box office in the past two years, such as “Camellia Sisters”, “Blood Moon party”, “Rom”, “Nang 3”… also left a strong impression in the hearts of the audience. 

Set in an old apartment block soon to be demolished and relocated in Saigon, director Tran Thanh Huy's "Rom" tells the true story of the lives of poor working people.

The film was highly rated by critics and won the New Currents award - the top prize at the 2019 Busan International Film Festival (Korea) and the Best First Film award at the 24th Fantasia International Film Festival - 2020. 

After its premiere, the film "Dreamy Eyes" by director Victor Vu created a great attraction and was considered the best movie of 2019. With many romantic scenes shot in the countryside of Hue, "Dreamy Eyes" tells the story of Ngan's unrequited love for Ha Lan - his childhood friend. His love did not alter even after the two had grown up, separated, and experienced many life events...

Another film shot in Hue is "Camellia Sisters" by the director duo Bao Nhan - Nam Cito. With beautiful scenes and emotive acting by a talented cast, the film is also highly regarded at this year’s film festival. 

The documentary genre is considered a bright spot in the overall picture of Vietnamese cinema this year. In addition to the relatively high number of films (56 films), many of them reflect the hot topics of social life.

Prominent among the contested documentaries, the director Ta Quynh Tu's "Boundaries" received overwhelming attention recently as it covered the current hot issue: the life-and-death battle with the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a documentary film approach of excluding commentary, the director uses the characters' images and words to convey to the audience emotional stories imbued with humanity.

Efforts to overcome difficulties of the Vietnamese cinema

Taking place amidst the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, many activities at the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival could not be organized or were downsized.

The organizing committee was initially concerned about the quantity and quality of this year’s films due to the impact of the pandemic. But surprisingly, the number of films in the categories of feature films, documentaries, science, and animations is very large, even exceeding the number of those of the previous festivals. This affirms the efforts and persistent creative spirit of artists, producers, and studios.

According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong, Head of the Steering Committee of the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival, despite facing many difficulties over the past two years, the film industry has made efforts to maintain production activities and complete many cinematographic works to serve the cultural and spiritual life of the people. Many cinematographic works have created artistic and aesthetic values and are recognized for their economic value for businesses and society.

Nguyen Vinh Son, the director, Chairman of the Feature Film Panel, said that in recent years, the quality of Vietnamese films has improved markedly, attracting a large number of people to theaters. Many films are highly regarded at international film festivals. In addition to enhanced technical and artistic quality, many works have touched lives and reflected reality by portraying very raw and humanistic hidden corners.

In addition to the domestic market, Vietnamese films have reached out to the world with many films being shown in Canada, Australia, the US... It can be said that Vietnamese cinema is surpassing itself with its cinematic language and filmmaking techniques that are approaching world-class standards.

By Minh Hien