Living in Fear

  • 104'
  • Vietnam
  • 2006
Tai has had a hard life. As a soldier he was on the losing side in the Vietnam War, which was also a civil war. Even after spending time in a re-education camp, he remained a pariah in the post-war Communist society. Excluded from ordinary work, he keeps himself alive by gathering scrap metal, usually old military material like shell fragments and barbed wire. It is barely enough to maintain his family and he also happens to have two families to maintain. The war separated him from his wife, so he started a new family with another woman. He stoically takes responsibility for both of them, even though he is tottering on the brink of starvation. From a man who fought on the other side during the war, he learns how to make bombs safe. This is a dangerous, almost suicidal job, but thanks to his disregard for death, from that moment on Tai is able to earn his living.
Bui Thac Chuyen previously made the documentary Tay dao dat (The Digger) about the same subject, true to life. In its form, the film fits in with the better classic war films of which so many have been made in Vietnam, for obvious reasons. But the story of a bigamist living on the brink of suicide, who was on the wrong side of the war, is very innovative within a Vietnamese context. (GjZ)

Bui Thac Chuyen
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Original title
Song trong so hai
Dang Tat Binh
Production Company
The Feature Film Studio No. 1
The Feature Film Studio No. 1
Bui Thac Chuyen, Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc
Hoang Tan Phat
Bui Thac Chuyen
Production Design
Vi Ngoc Mai
Sound Design
Banh Bac Hai
Do Hong Quan
Tran Huu Phuc, Tran Huu Phuc, Mai Van Thinh