A scene from the Vietnamese movie Vợ Ba (The Third Wife). The movie has bagged the Special Mention at the Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival (BAFF) 2019. — Photo filmmovement.com
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese movie Vợ Ba (The Third Wife) bagged another international award by winning the Special Mention at the Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival (BAFF) 2019.
According to the jury, the movie is “a combination of a sensual delicacy and a dreamy atmosphere. The director gives nuances to a classic narrative style. The film is testimony to meticulous craftsmanship with strong performance and confident directing.”
The Best ASEAN film was granted to Thailand’s Manta Ray by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng.
“The film expresses the spirit of Southeast Asia through its rich soundscape and colourful visual images in telling a very delicate story with integrity and humanity,” the jury said about the movie.
The Jury Prize was given to the movie Balangiga: Howling Wilderness by Filipino director Khavn De La Cruz.
On the movie, the jury board wrote: “Daring, thought provoking. The director with his distinctive signature offers us a unique perspective of colonial repression through a journey of a young boy.”
Ten movies from seven ASEAN countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Việt Nam, have been selected to vie for the prize at BAFF.
Before winning the prize at BAFF 2019, The Third Wife, which is the first motion picture by female director Nguyễn Phương Anh (aka Ash Mayfair), also bagged several other international awards.
The awards include the Best Artistic Contribution in International Competition at the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), the RTVE – Another Look Award at the 66th San Sebastian International Film Festival, and the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award for the best Asian film at the Toronto International Film Festival. It also earned the Best Film award at the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival in India.
It is set in 19th century rural Việt Nam, when a 14-year-old girl becomes the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Soon she learns that she can only gain status by giving birth to a baby boy. Her hopes of changing her status turn into a real and tantalising possibility when she becomes pregnant. Faced with forbidden love and its devastating consequences, she finally comes to understand the brutal truth: the options available to her are few and far between.
However, the film has stirred controversy among domestic audiences since it premiered in Việt Nam in May due to sexual scenes performed by actress Nguyễn Phương Trà My, who was only 13 at the time she played the role. Therefore, screenings of the movie were suspended indefinitely over intimate sex scenes featuring the underage actress. — VNS