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Hai The Gioi resurfaces 60 years later

Update: November, 24/2015 - 09:32
Vintage revival: A black and white poster shows a scene from the 1953 feature film Hai The Gioi, which is making a comeback at the Rex Hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City after 60 years. — Photo courtesy of Blue Productions
HA  NOI  (VNS) — The film Hai The Gioi (Two Worlds) produced by the Tan Viet Nam Film Studio in France in 1953 and directed by Pham Van Nhan will be screened in Viet Nam this November, according to Blue Productions.

The black-and-white film will be screened tonight at HCM City's Rex Hotel, where it was first shown in 1954, before moving to IDECAF on Saturday.

Apart from students who receive scholarships from the Government or an organisation to study abroad, many Vietnamese students had to rely on their parents to pay for their study fees.

Sixty years ago, the 61-minute film told a story from the Indochina War when many Vietnamese students in France didn't receive financial assistance from their families to continue their studies.

Tan, a law student, had to find an extra job to pay for his study fees. During that time he contracted tuberculosis (TB), and due to his exhaustive workload, he died.

Hong Anh from Blue Productions told Viet Nam News that the film still posed a topical question because in the past, TB was considered as bad as HIV/AIDS because there was no effective medical treatment.

Anh said 96-year-old director Nhan wished to screen his film as a gift for local residents.

"I was touched by his wish to screen it for free," she said, adding that if it received a good response, Blue Productions would sell cheap tickets so that everyone could enjoy it.

"All the money will go to a charity for TB patients," Anh said.

This film and director Nhan's Gia Hanh Phuc (Price of Happiness, 1953) and Vi Dau Nen Noi (Why It Was So, 1954) have been restored and digitalised by the French National Cinema Centre CNC. They were screened last September in France.

Nhan was born in 1919 in the former province of Ha Dong, and now lives in the south of France. He was one of the last of 90,000 Vietnamese workers who went to France from 1939-40 to alleviate the country's labour shortage.

Most of them were young, between 20 and 30 years old.

Once in France, they had to adapt to the industrial work, modernisation and culture. They were also confronted with a colonial power on its own soil, a power in the throes of defeat, struggling with its contradictions, which upset the myth of the omnipotent mother country, homogeneous and invincible.

Pham Van Nhan's first film was a historical documentary about President Ho Chi Minh, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong and a movement that supported overseas Vietnamese in France. — VNS

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