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German film tells tale of Cambodian love

Update: May, 05/2010 - 09:46

Riding high: A scene from Same Same But Different starring David Kross who gained international recognition in The Reader. — File Photo

Riding high: A scene from Same Same But Different starring David Kross who gained international recognition in The Reader. — File Photo

HA NOI — A German film show will open tonight at Ha Noi's National Cinema Centre kicking off a festival at five major Vietnamese cities.

The festival is a first, celebrating the 35 years of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and Germany.

The five best movies include Cherry Blossoms; My Words, My Lies, My Love; Krabat; John Rabe and Same Same But Different.

Same Same But Different will be screened at the film festival's opening ceremony. The movie is the most recent of the five films, showing to audiences in Germany in January.

Directed by Detlev Buck, the movie is an intensive and moving love story based on the true story of the German journalist Benjamin Prufer.

He travels to Phnom Penh and meets a Cambodian girl in a bar. They flirt and spend the night together. But after Ben returns to Germany, the girl calls to tell him she has HIV. Ben has to make a decision and a German-Asian love story begins.

Ben is played by David Kross, who gained international recognition in The Reader.

"The couple lived in Cambodia. The director got much help from them when he made the movie," said Marina May from the Goethe Institute.

Another movie John Rabe is also a true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38. From best short film Oscar 2001 for his I Want to Be, director Florian Gallenberger comes a stirring and sensitive account of a contradictory hero who is honoured in China as a "living Buddha," according to Marina.

The movie won several awards in Germany and Shanghai in 2009.

Two movies Cherry Blossoms and Krabat were produced in 2008. Cherry Blossoms directed by female movie maker Doris Dorrie who is interested in Asian themes. Krabat movie is a Teutonic Harry Potter about seduction, love, hate and death being shown at the Berlinale 2008 and was awarded the Bavarian Film Prize for Children and Youth.

My Words, My Lies, My Love was produced in 2009. It is the film version Martin Suter's novel by the same name which exposes the literary scene with a light and humorous touch.

"For the Germany in Viet Nam 2010 event, we're offering five major cities to get to know more about current German films and catch a glimpse on screen of today's Germany," said the director of Ha Noi Goethe Institute, Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch.

The heavy presence of Asian themes was a deliberate intention. "Asia in general and Viet Nam are more and more attractive to Germans. They have become a subject of discussion," said Marina.

After showing in Ha Noi from May 5-9, the film festival will move to Hai Phong's May 1 Cinema in 55 Hoang Van Thu Street from May 14-18, and Da Nang's Le Do Cinema in 46 Tran Phu Street from May 21-25.

In HCM City the film festival will be held from May 28 to June 1 at the Lotte Cinema Diamond, 34 Le Duan Street, District 1. Can Tho's Tay Do Theatre will be the last venue to host the film festival from June 4-8.

All films are free of charge to the public. — VNS

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