A Time Far Past

  • 109'
  • Vietnam
  • 2004
Meticulous and classic film version of the book Thoi xa vang (A Distant Past) by the writer Le Lu. This book, famous in Vietnam, was published in 1986, just when the country was starting to open up to the rest of the world after its post-war isolation. The book and the film are set in the 1950s in the north of Vietnam. After the departure of the French colonial regime, the communists started to gain influence. The country was about to enter a long and destructive war. The film maker wanted to film the book ever since it came out, but didn't manage to do so until 16 years later. Based on a script he wrote himself, the story follows the life of Sai from boy to man. Sai was married off at the age of 12 to the 18-year-old Tuyet. Tuyet tries to make the best of things, but Sai is clearly not yet ripe for marriage. By continuing to act as a child, he basically casts off his wife. He is more enthusiastic about the club of Young Pioneers, the youth organisation of the communists who are gaining power in his village. Sai's life then runs parallel to historic developments that are largely shaped by the war. For the director, this film about the north is the last part of a trilogy. Earlier films were set in the south (Karma) and central (Gata gata paragate) regions of his country. (GjZ)
Ho Quang Minh
International premiere
Countries of production
Vietnam, Switzerland
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005
Original title
Thoi Xa Vang
Giaï Phong Film Studio, Solimane Productions, Tien LE DUC, Morteza Mohammadi
Solimane Productions
Ho Quang Minh