A scene in the 35-part series Cây Nước Mắt (Tears of the Rubber Trees), a TV show featuring the lives of poor farmers living at rubber plantations owned by French firms in the 1940s. The farmers faced violence and abuse from their overseers. The series impressed viewers after it aired on Hồ Chí Minh Television. (Photo courtesy of the producer)
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY— Movie star Hồng Ánh has made a deep impression on audiences after her new film, Cây Nước Mắt (Tears of the Rubber Trees), a new TV series aired on Hồ Chí Minh City Television this week.
The 35-part show portrays the lives of poor farmers living and working at rubber plantations owned by French firms in the 1940s. These farmers faced violence and abuse from their overseers.
Ánh plays Miss 50, a young mother of a four-year-old daughter, who was raped by her overseer named Bưởi. Through her tragic life, the brutal colonial rulers in southern Việt Nam are exposed.
The actress shows the character of southerners and how they were able to fight and redirect their life after much suffering.
“I loved playing in Cây Nước Mắt, a production about southern farmers who were kind and brave, and helped local villagers fight against the oppressor,” said Ánh, 43, who has 25 years of experience in film.
“I worked with young actors and improved during the shoot. I hope my fans will see this improvement after watching the series."
In an interview with local media before its release, the film’s director Nguyễn Xuân Hiệp said that he had hired Ánh because she would be a “guarantee for my work’s success.”
“Cây Nước Mắt features historical events under the colonial rule of the French in Việt Nam. Young people will improve their knowledge about the country’s history after watching,” he said.
Movie star Hồng Ánh plays a leading role in Cây Nước Mắt (Tears of the Rubber Trees) by director Nguyễn Xuân Hiệp. She portrays the life and challenges of a young mother and farmer working at a rubber plantation in the South. Through her tragic life, the brutal colonial rulers in southern Việt Nam are exposed. (Photo courtesy of the producer)
Ánh began her movie career in 1995 after winning a top prize at a contest for young talents in film launched by the HCM City Association of Cinematography.
She was also trained at the Dance School of HCM City. She received a BA in screenplay writing at the University of Theatre and Cinematography.
Ánh has performed in many films and TV shows by talented directors such as Nguyễn Vinh Sơn, Lê Cung Bắc and Nguyễn Thanh Vân.
She won several top prizes at Vietnamese and international film festivals, including the Golden Sky for Best Movie Actress by Việt Nam Cinematography Association in 2000 and 2007 and Best Actress award at the fifth Dubai International Film Festival in 2008.
She represented Việt Nam at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, 2011 and 2013.
In 2017, she released her debut feature film as a director in The Way Station, a production about love adapted from Đỗ Phước Tiến’s story titled Đảo Của Dân Ngụ Cư (The Island of Aliens). The book was translated into French and English in 1992.
The Way Station won the Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director of Photography award at the ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA) 2017 held in Malaysia.
It also won the Best Story award at the 58th Asia Pacific Film Festival in Taipei in 2018. Actress Ngọc Thanh Tâm of HCM City,who plays the lead role in the film, brought home the Special Jury Award for Best Actress.
In Cây Nước Mắt, Ánh worked hard to make her role realistic.
“I think famous actors are remembered by their roles,” said Ánh, who owns Blue Productions, a film studio targeting young directors. “A talent for acting, a love for the profession and a kind heart make an excellent actor."
Cây Nước Mắt airs on HTV9 at 9 pm every Thursday.— VNS