Best Movies from Vietnam


1. The Scent of Green Papaya - Mùi đu đủ xanh - 1993 - Anh Hung Tran

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 later Mui (now a young woman) was sent to another family, a young pianist and his wife. The musician falls in love with the peasant, he taught her literacy and they eventually married. A movie about a girl's life. (IMDB)

2. Cyclo - Xich lo - 1995 - Anh Hung Tran

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 of drugs and crime. (IMDB)

3. The Beautiful Country - 2004 - Hans Petter Moland

"Bui Doi" (less than dust) is the so called minority of Vietnamese children with American fathers. Binh is a "bui doi", living a sad and lonely existence in the countryside with his family. He's a shy and quiet young man, carrying a complex about his appearance. The only memory about his father is a photograph from his childhood. One day, Binh decides to leave the countryside and look for his mother, who works in Saigon as a maid in a residence. There, Binh will testify his mother's hard existence and discovers that he has a little half brother. A fatal accident will be the beginning of a life full of complications for Binh. He will have to run away with his little brother in a long trip overseas, ending up in a prison for illegal immigrants in Singapur, where he meets a beautiful Chinese girl, Ling, who has to prostitute herself in order to gain some special favors from the guardians. Later, Binh will find himself again overseas, heading to North America, in a boat captained by a kind smuggler (Tim Roth), dedicated to the traffic of illegal immigrants. However, in America, Binh and Ling will have to face a rough reality, illegal immigrant's reality at China Town, in San Francisco, before he finally arrives Houston, Texas, where he believes is living his father. (IMDB)

4. Three Seasons - Ba Mua - 1999 - Tony Bui

An American in Ho Chi Minh City looks for a daughter he fathered during the war. He meets Woody, a child who's a street vendor, and when Woody's case of wares disappears, he thinks the soldier took it. Woody hunts for him. A cyclo driver, Hai, gives a ride to Lan, a hotel call girl, and starts waiting for her daily; he falls in love with her and tries to break through her tough veneer. Kien An, a young woman, takes a job harvesting lotuses in the ponds of Teacher Dao, a reclusive man who has leprosy. Her singing awakens him from depression, and he asks her to write down poetry he has composed. The characters' paths cross in small ways, around flowers and kindnesses. (IMDB)

5. Owl and the Sparrow - Cú và chim se sẻ - 2007 - Stephane Gauger

A child's resilience and the kindness of strangers. Thuy is 10, an orphan, working in her uncle's factory outside Saigon. He berates her constantly, so she runs away to Saigon. Over five days, we watch her survive on the streets selling flowers, while her uncle looks for her. She encounters Hai, a reserved zoo-keeper whose fiancée has jilted him. She also sells a flower to Lan, a flight attendant in the city for a layover, unlucky in love, who buys dinner for Thuy and offers her a place to stay that night. Thuy, who thinks of Lan as a sparrow and Hai as an owl, determines to bring them together. If she succeeds, then what; and what about her uncle?

6. Living in Fear - Song trong so hai 2005 Chuyên Bui Thac

Tai, a soldier in South Vietnam, had 2 wives living in 2 different places. When the war ended in 1975, he brought his second wife and her child to a new land which was littered with land mines and bombs leftover from the war. As a loser, he had no choice. He built a small house for himself. He worked extremely hard to earn money. One day, while having a drink with a Cong San named Nam Duc, he found out another way to earn his living. Nam Duc was a good mine clearer and he collected barbwire in the minefields in exchange for alcohol. Tai was taught how to earn money in that way by Nam Duc. Tai went to the minefield at the risk of his life and cleared land-mines. He collected scraps from the minefield. He had money to bring up his 2 wives and children. However, he understood that scraps would run out one day. He discovered a new way to be paid...He cleared land-mines daily for cultivation land. He dug for land-mines and took them out of land. And he had a simple conclusion: land-mines were only dangerous when they were stepped over. If being taken out, they were like stones 

7. When the Tenth Month Comes - Bao gio cho den thang muoi - 1984 - Nhat Minh Dang

Nhat Minh Dang´s wartime melodrama Bao Gio Cho Den Thang Muoi (When the Tenth Month Comes, 1984) about the struggle of ordinary people in a small village was made nine years after the Vietnam War had ended, a national tragedy which caused the deaths of more than three million citizens, and left the country devastated. Nhat Minh Dang who was born in 1938 and had made his start in documentary films while the war was still going on decided to make his feature debut about the impact the warface had especially on indivdual human beeings, far from any kind of propaganda, and so created an astonishing tragedy about a young woman who had lost her husband in the war, and now desperately ranges between her grief and the futile intent to find love again. The tenth month in the title of the film refers to the time of forgiveness in Vietnamese culture. The film begins with Duyen, the heroine returning from the front where she had discovered that her husband had been killed, and her decision to conceal this information from her sick father-in-law and her son to not cause them pain. She soon finds herself trapped because of the difficulty to keep on dissimulating, and finally asks a befriended school teacher called Zhang to write her letters in the name of her dead husband. The arrangement suceeds in order to tranquilize the family members, but her oppressed feelings towards Zhang begin to trouble her, and cause a feeling of guilt. The impossibility of taking a chance on a new love become clear when the society finds out about the strong relation between Duyen and Zhang, so that the alleged lovers see themselves confronted with incomprehension and repression. The complexity of reciprocal emotions make Duyen´s situation almost insupportable, so that her only resort becomes a world of dreams and cultural myths. (YOUTUBE)

8. The White Silk Dress - Ao lua ha dong - 2006 - Luu Huynh

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. (IMDB)

9. The Rebel - 2006 - Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen

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 agents to track and destroy these rebels. The film follows the journey of Le Van Cuong, a French cultured undercover elite. Although branded with a perfect track record, Cuong's inner conscience is troubled by the sea of Vietnamese blood he had spilled to uphold a French washed ideal. Following an assassination of a high ranking French, Cuong is assigned to seek and kill the notorious leader of the resistance. Cuong encounters Vo Thanh Thuy, a relentless revolutionary fighter and the daughter of the rebel leader. Cuong's superior intends for him to use Thuy as a mean to get to her father but Cuong soon has feelings for her. Thuy's patriotism ignites conflicts between Cuong's consciousness and his cultured faith. Will Cuong discover his inner-self and find love or will he continue his mission? The journey unfolds... (IMDB)

10. Journey from the Fall - Vuot Suong - 2009 - Ham Tran

"The Americans have broken their promise. They have left us." (Long Nguyen, South Vietnamese resistance fighter)

Inspired by the true stories of Vietnamese refugees who fled their land after the fall of Saigonand those who were forced to stay behind, Journey From The Fall follows one familys struggle for freedom.

April 30, 1975 marked the end of Vietnam's two-decade-old civil war and the start of the exodus of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Despite his allegiance to the toppled South Vietnamese government, Long Nguyen (as Long Nguyen) decides to remain in Vietnam. Imprisoned in a Communist re-education camp, he urges his family to make the escape by boat without him. His wife Mai (Diem Lien), son Lai (Nguyen Thai Nguyen) and mother Ba Noi (Kieu Chinh) then embark on the arduous ocean voyage in the hope of reaching the U.S. and freedom.

Back in Vietnam, Long suffers years of solitary confinement and hard labor, and finally despairs that his family has perished. But news of their successful resettlement in America inspires him to make one last desperate attempt to join them. (IMDB)

11. The Buffalo Boy - Mua len trau - 2004 - Minh Nguyen-Vo

Set along the southern coast of Vietnam during the French occupation in the 1940s, water is everywhere...(IMDB)

12. Fool for Love - De Mai Tinh - 2010 - Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi, I saw your post very well. I have the same thoughts with you. We will be good friends. I have some good movies hope you enjoy it. You and I watch the movie together
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