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Movie on legendary spy Pham Xuan An planned

Update: February, 19/2014 - 15:28
Professor Larry Berman signs copies of the new edition of his book about the legendary spy Pham Xuan An for readers during the book launch in Ha Noi on Tuesday. – Photo vovworld.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — A 32-episode television film on the legendary Vietnamese spy Pham Xuan An will be shot soon in both the US and Viet Nam.

According to Prof Larry Berman, author of a biography on the spy, each episode will be of 45 minutes and the budget will be around US$ 1 million. Berman was speaking at a ceremony to release his updated version of the book "Perfect Spy X6" in Ha Noi on Tuesday by publishing company First News.

The screenplay for the film, a brain child of the author and the First News, will be approved by Berman himself and the film is scheduled to be broadcast on September 2, 2015, which is Viet Nam's National Day.

Berman also intends to make another 120-minute movie on the spy.

"I think through An's stories the world can learn not only about the war but peace also, and understand An. My dream is that this story can be turned into a movie on An's life, war and peace," he said.

He also hoped the movie could compete at the Oscars or Cannes festival.

In 2007, the book "Perfect Spy – The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An" was first published, and it shook both the Vietnamese and American public.

The latest edition of the book is an honest and vivid account of the thrilling but dangerous life of An.

Many of the secrets told by An to Berman are revealed in the biography.

Also included are interviews and articles by An's colleagues. Professor Larry Berman says: "I'm so happy and pleased that Vietnamese audiences like the book. It gives me great pride. I also think that I am honouring the dream of An because not only will the Vietnamese read the book but Americans and people around the world will also it."

The English version of the new edition will be released across the world later this year.

Pham Xuan An was born in 1927 in Bien Hoa in the southern province of Dong Nai and died in 2006.

During his life as a secret agent, major-general An, whose alias was X6, worked for the intelligence group H63 in Sai Gon, which was then called Ho Chi Minh City.

He was a strategic spy and played an important role in the resistance war against the American invaders. He was a reporter for Reuters, Time magazine, and the New York Herald Tribune and received several honours from US politicians and the media.

He befriended everyone who was anyone in Sai Gon, including American journalists such as David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan, the CIA's William Colby and the legendary Colonel Edward Lansdale, not to mention the most influential members of the South Vietnamese government and army.

None ever guessed that he was providing strategic intelligence to Ha Noi, smuggling invisible ink messages into the jungle inside egg rolls. His early reports were so accurate that General Vo Nguyen Giap joked, "We are now in the US war room."

In "Perfect Spy," Larry Berman, who An considered his official American biographer, chronicles the extraordinary life of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating spies. — VNS

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