Movie star Trà Giang plays a leading role in Chị Tư Hậu (Mrs Tư Hậu), a feature film by director Phạm Kỳ Nam, which features the beauty and bravery of southern women during the American war. — Photo courtesy of HCM City Cinematography Association
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — A TV programme featuring Vietnamese revolutionary films on Saigontourist Cable Television (SCTV) of HCM City has attracted audiences in southern provinces.
The screening, which began on Monday, introduces films by talented directors in the 1960s and 70s.
Films by southern artists of the Southern Cinematography and Photography Branch (SCPB) during the French and American wars are also highlighted.
The Vietnamese motion picture industry was established officially in March 1953, but activities actually began in the SCPB, which opened in the Đồng Tháp Mười region (now located in Đồng Tháp, Tiền Giang and Long An provinces) in 1947.
SCPB artists such as Mai Lộc, Khương Mễ, Trần Kiềm, Tuyết Trinh and Nguyễn Thế Đoàn worked hard to make lively documentaries and films. Some of them died during the period.
The first work of SCPB was Chiến Trận Mộc Hóa (Mộc Hóa Battle), a documentary by the late cameraman, film director and People’s Artist Khương Mễ and his colleagues, People’s Artist Mai Lộc and Meritorious Artist Vũ Sơn.
The film was first released in December 1948, featuring the victories of Battalion 307's soldiers. It won the Silver Lotus award at the second Việt Nam Film Festival in 1973.
The film’s director Mễ received the Licorne D’Or at the Amiens International Film Festival in France in 1997.
“The Việt Nam Cinematography Association and HCM City Cinematography Association should work to maintain the quality of films produced during the revolution because they are part of the country’s history,” said a representative of the SCTV.
SCTV’s screening programme airs seven Vietnamese revolutionary films on SCTV21 channel at 8.30pm every day.
These films were directed by artists Mai Lộc, Phạm Kỳ Nam, Trần Vũ, Nguyễn Văn Thông, Hải Ninh, Nguyễn Hồng Sến and Trần Khánh Dư, all of whom pushed the Vietnamese revolutionary film to higher heights from 1962 to 1975.
The works feature the beauty and bravery of Vietnamese women.
They are still being used to train students at art schools at home and abroad.
Through the films, talented actresses such as Trà Giang, Bích Liên and Thụy Vân rose to fame and became the industry’s first movie stars.
Highlighted films are Chị Tư Hậu (MrsTư Hậu) by late director Nam in 1963 and Vĩ Tuyến 17 Ngày Và Đêm (17th Parallel, Days and Nights) by Ninh in 1972. Both productions highlight southern women and their character.
In the films, Giang, a graduate of the Việt Nam Cinematography School, played a southern woman during the American War.
She won the best actress prize at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1963 and 1973.
“My children and I watched Giang’s films many times on television, but they’re still fresh in our mind. I think her films are canonical works of Vietnamese revolutionary film,” said Hồng Văn Hùng, a resident in Đồng Nai Province’s Biên Hòa City.
“Revolutionary films help young people of different generations learn about the country’s heroic history and culture,” he said.
Chị Tư Hậu and Vĩ Tuyến 17 Ngày Và Đêm will air on Saturday and Sunday this week. More films will continue on SCTV21 during the month. — VNS