Director: Phạm Văn Nhận
Runtime: 61 minutes
In the early 1950s, Tân, a Vietnamese student in Paris, was quarantined for tuberculosis at a suburban sanatorium. Cut off from the rushed rhythm of days spent at lecture halls and cabaret night shifts, Tân had to adapt to a life of solitude and anxiety away from his girlfriend. His world—that of his Paris-dwelling compatriots—was a divided one, where seclusion did not only come about because of physical illness, but seemed to surround pensive youngsters who spoke Vietnamese, wore Vietnamese costume, and lived their life in the Vietnamese ways, as alluded to in prolonged conversations and monologues. In a bustling, dreamlike Paris, souls that were as good as bedridden by homesickness and lack of affections seek shelter and solace in one another and in romantic love. With elegant cinematography, the film is a poignant yet hopeful song that dreams of happiness for the Vietnamese migrants.
One of Vietnam’s first sound films, Two Worlds was shot entirely in France by the diasporic Vietnamese filmmaker Phạm Văn Nhận, a former Indochinese soldier-worker to France during World War I, and featured an all-Vietnamese cast.
For the full ECHOES, EMBERS: a story of Vietnamese and French Cinema programme, please visit here.
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