Director honours famous poet Han Mac Tu's life with biographical series

Update: January, 10/2005 - 00:00

Director honours famous poet Han Mac Tu’s life with biographical series

A dark, dark world

Han Mac Tu (1912-1940) was born in the central province of Quang Binh’s Dong Hoi district into a poor Christian family.

Though famous primarily for his romantic tomes and poems about life, Tu was one of the founders of truong tho loan or tho dien (crazy poetry), a dark world of words expressing horrible images and the sounds of a soul suffering from endless pain.

In 1936, he contracted leprosy and was treated in the Quy Hoa Hospital where he died. — VNS


HCM CITY — Poetry-lovers can now have a close look at the romantic and creative life of famous poet Han Mac Tu in a short television series produced by the HCM City Television Film Studio (TFS).

The six-episode series titled Han Mac Tu features the "golden" ten-year period of the distinguished poet’s life from age 18 to his death at 28 from leprosy. Apart from his excellent poetic works, Han Mac Tu is well-known for his various lovers, all of whom were said to be as beautiful and romantic as his verses.

"I made this film, first of all, for myself," said the film’s director Tran My Ha. Ha was so interested in the poet that he learnt most of his poems by heart.

As well as the famous muse, other famous patriotic writers like Phan Boi Chau, Bich Khe, Quach Tan, Che Lan Vien and Yen Lan appear in the series.

Not to mention of course, are the beauties that were an integral part of the poet’s life. Women portraying Kim Cuc (named in the film Thu Cuc), Mong Cam (Mong Huyen) and Mai Dinh (Mai Duong) will also have parts.

The film, according to Ha, is not simply an illustration of the poet’s life. It also deals with the relevant issues of all youth, like friendship, love and life. That’s why this is the film "for the young generation," Ha said.

Han Mac Tu appears in the film as a young intellectual patriot, who intended to go to France to study.

Because of his relationship with patriot Phan Boi Chau, at that time playing key roles in various patriot movements like Dong Du (Go East - a programme that sent hundreds of youth to Japan to study politics, economics and military science) and associations like Duy Tan Hoi (The Renovation Society), the French ruling government did not permit Han Mac Tu to study in France.

The poet, whose real name is Nguyen Trong Tri, worked instead in Sai Gon as a journalist. Through his articles, Tri expressed his profound understanding of the intense issues of society.

"I would like to create a new angle for people to understand Han Mac Tu and his works," said Ha. "He was a very young man who possessed an early awareness of national freedom."

In the film, Han Mac Tu is a man with a strong character and determined will, hidden inside a sensitive and intellectual appearance.

Le Van Anh, a junior piano student at the Ha Noi Music Conservatory, was cast as the historical poet. Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 is used as the soundtrack to help express the young man’s emotions, and Anh says he relies on these emotions rather than action to portray the historical figure.

Tong Gia Cat, a 18-year-old secondary student from Hue, plays Thu Cuc, model Tang Thanh Ha plays Mong Huyen and experienced film star Nguyet Anh plays Mai Duong.

"Making a series about a poet is rather difficult," said Ha, "and expressing poetic language in a television series is even more challenging. That’s why we are wondering whether audiences will share our feelings about the project."

The series began on January 2 and will be shown every Sunday morning at 9am on HTV7’s Literature and Arts Magazine programme. — VNS