HCM CITY — A historical film about national hero Nguyen Trung Truc, broadcast on HCM City Television's Channel 9, has riveted audiences in southern provinces where entertainment shows are usually the most popular programmes.
|Rumble in the jungle: Actor Ly Anh Tuan (second right) in a scene from the 20-episode TV series Anh hung Nguyen Trung Truc, which is being broadcast on HTV9. — File Photo
The 20-episode TV series, Anh hung Nguyen Trung Truc (Hero Nguyen Trung Truc), features the life and work of Truc, who led village militia to fight the French colonialists in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
Born in 1838 in the central province of Binh Dinh, Truc moved with his family to the south when the French invaded the central region in the 1850s. He later joined the militia.
He rose to become a partisan leader and assisted Truong Dinh, a Nguyen dynasty mandarin who led a guerrilla army in the south, in fighting the French army.
His most renowned water-borne attack resulted in the torching of the L'Esperance, a ship carrying rice for the French army, in the Nhat Tao Canal (now in Kien Giang Province) in 1861.
In 1868 the French took his mother hostage to capture Truc, and executed him in Rach Gia Province (now Kien Giang Province).
"I were very excited about hero Nguyen Trung Truc after reading a book on him written by Duong Linh," the film's director Phan Hoang, said.
"I asked Linh to expand his book into a script for a TV series."
Hoang and his staff travelled around the Cuu Long region to capture beautiful scenes and daily life, making his production lively and realistic.
He asked his actors to work hard, researching books and documents to learn more about Truc and his guerrillas.
"Through our film, we wanted young audiences to learn more about the history of Viet Nam and the patriotism of its people," said fashion model and actor Ly Anh Tuan, who plays Truc.
Hoang, who is also the director of Cuu Long Film Studio, the film's producer, said the burning of the L'Esperance was the "highlight" of the film.
"Before building a replica of the ship, we contacted the Paris Museum to ask for an image of the vessel," he said.
Hoang's staff took nine months to build a model of the L'Esperance. It cost VND1.5 billion (US$71,500), a majority of the funds provided by Kien Giang Province where the most of the film was shot.
Anh hung Nguyen Trung Truc airs at 10pm every Thursday to Sunday on HTV9 and several provincial stations. — VNS