Bride of Silence

Doan Minh Phuong, Doan Thanh Nghia

In a legendary Vietnam before the war, before the colonial era, yes, basically before everything, the tragic story is told of a young unmarried mother. a mother who chooses to remain silent, making her life an intriguing puzzle. Refined and aesthetically overwhelming Vietnamese epic.

No less than ten years research preceded the making of Bride of Silence, and that can be seen. With stunning historical accuracy, a Vietnamese village of 200 years ago is restored to life. On his deathbed, Tuy tells his stepson Hien for the first time about his mother, Ly An, who became pregnant while unmarried 17 years before and was punished by the pious community in her pottery village. She came to terms with her inevitable death, but continued to refuse to say who the father was. At the moment when the baby was set loose in a basket on the river, an incredible storm whipped up. With her secrecy and taciturn attitude, the condemned Ly An protected her inviolable personal freedom. In oriental reviews, Bride of Silence has been described as the first Vietnamese feminist film. Also striking are the Buddhist and Christian elements in narrative, symbolism and music. An inventive reference to the more recent Western intervention in Vietnam and the present cultural identity of the country. Alongside the melancholy story and the pure acting, it is above all the aesthetics of this d├ębut that proves overwhelming. This is the kind of film for which the silver screen was invented. (SdH)

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