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New TV show features heroic Con Dao prisoners

Update: May, 15/2014 - 10:55
The series is about the lives of revolutionaries sent to Con Dao Prison from 1862 and the mid 1970s during the French and American wars. — File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — A television documentary series on the life of Vietnamese revolutionaries in Con Dao Prison will be filmed this month by Viet Nam Television (VTV) and Viet Nam Film Studio.

The 12-part series, Bat Khuat Con Dao (Indomitable Con Dao), is written and directed by Minh Chuyen of VTV.

The series is about the lives of revolutionaries sent to Con Dao Prison from 1862 and the mid 1970s during the French and American wars.

It includes depictions of jailbreaks of prisoners who lived and sacrificed for the country's independence.

Located on Con Dao Island, Con Dao Prison is known as "Hell on Earth" where more than 200,000 prisoners, including leading Vietnamese revolutionaries, were jailed.

Nearly 20,000 died in atrocious conditions under the French and US-backed Sai Gon regimes.

"Through the film, we wanted to spotlight Vietnamese revolutionaries' remarkable spirit and work in achieving the country's freedom," said Chuyen, who spent 10 years filming.

Chuyen and his crew began filming in Con Dao and Con Dao Prison in 2003. They conducted research on the prisoners and also met and interviewed hundreds of witnesses.

"We filmed dozens of reports on Con Dao prisoners. We wanted our production to be real to help young audiences understand what war really is and the heavy losses that occur," Chuyen said. "Bat Khuat Con Dao is similar to a heroic song which highlights the spirit and revolutionary cause of Con Dao prisoners in Viet Nam history."

Chuyen, once a soldier, began working as a reporter in 1975 for the Thai Binh newspaper. He published 20 books on war and post-war topics.

In 1997 he began working at VTV, and has since directed 40 films and TV series.

He has won top prizes at national and international film festivals. His film, Cha Con Nguoi Linh (Father and Son Soldiers) won the Golden Prize at an International Film Festival in Pyongyang in 2006.

Post-production work on the film Bat Khuat Con Dao was completed in Ha Noi. The film will be broadcast on VTV1, VTV3 and VTV4 channels on May 25. — VNS

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