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'Ash of Glorious' review: Compassionate portrait of three Vietnamese women never quite ignites

Three women living in a small village in the Mekong Delta struggle to rival the men in Glorious Ashes , a thoughtful but somewhat gruff ensemble Vietnamese writer-director Bui Thac Chuyen (Adrift).

Premiering in Tokyo’s game, the film offers an interesting part in this world, old The way of life, whether in farming, fishing or when the wife is completely at the mercy of her husband’s every whim, still dominates daily life. But the two-hour drama never quite transcends its serious, heavy message, making it more of a thoughtful teaching project than a movie with huge market potential.

Glorious Ashes

Bottom Line A tender, if try female conflict drama.

Place: Tokyo International Film Festival (competition) )

Throw: Le Cong Hoang, Bao Ngoc Doling, Phuong Anh Dao, Ngo Quang Tuan, Ngo Pham Hanh Thuy
Director, Screenwriter:
Bui Thac Chuyen 1 hour 2009 minutes

This is not to say Glorious Ashes Not, at least in its conception, an exploratory and rather dark depiction of the day-to-day struggles faced by its three heroines, all of whom must grapple with a difficult rural life, while at the same time There are also three heroines to deal with.

For Duong (Le Cong Hoang), it means her marriage to Hau (Bao Ngoc Doling) remains stagnant and her husband is so estranged even though he occasionally Working as a fisherman in the delta, he hardly said a word to her. The reason, as we learned early on, is that Hau is still madly in love with Nhan (Phuong Anh Dao), a childhood friend who lives in a few houses down the river with potter Tam (Ngo) Happily married. Quang Tuan).

Given that their village is small, everyone knows everything about everyone else, and the characters are constantly bumping into each other while doing various chores by the river, which is very It’s hard to hide things for a long time. Chuyen captivated the audience early with the scene where Nhan’s house was burned down, leading us to believe that Duong’s actions were out of jealousy, or that Hau decided to abolish Nahm because he didn’t love him. But the real reason turns out to be even more tragic, turning Tam into a deranged arsonist bent on destroying his home while the town looks helpless.

A parallel storyline involves Loan (Ngo Pham Hanh Thuy), a woman raped as a child whose attacker is released from prison decades later. The ex-convict returns to the village and lives in a Buddhist monastery, leaving Rune eager for revenge on the man who ruined her life.

Chuyen, his 2009 function Adrift Winning his FIPRSCI award in Venice, he took the time to weave three stories together, synchronizing his narrative with the leisurely pace of life along the river. While Glorious Ashes‘s setting is pretty much a story in itself: it’s fascinating to watch Duong and the others scrape by on the Delta, but it gets slow at times. One foot is always in the muddy water of the Mekong. Hau works as a shrimp fisherman on a small isolated tower in the middle of the sea, surrounded by nets and empty water, which could actually be the subject of another film, and Chuyen returns to the site several times to emphasize Hau’s severe isolation.

These attentive elements are often more engaging than the drama itself, far from subtle in places without any major surprises and awkwardness. However, Chuyen shows real sympathy for his protagonists — especially Duong and Nahm, who come closer as they deal with family tragedy and a pair of useless husbands.

Rebuilding the house that Tam keeps burning down, Duong, who is waiting for Hau to come back, knows that it doesn’t mean much to their dead marriage and refuses to fall into the same despair as the other important people. Although they face everything, including death itself, the women in Glorious Ashes anchor everyone’s life, while the men are powerless and have to go with the flow.

Full Credits

Venue: Tokyo International Film Festival (Competition)
Production company: Nam Productions
Cast: Le Cong Hoang, Bao Ngoc Doling, Phuong Anh Dao, Ngo Quang Tuan, Ngo Pham Hanh Thuy Director, Screenwriter: Pei Zechun
Producer: Tran Thi Bich Ngoc
Executive Producers: Tran Viet Anh, Andy Vo, Cao Trung Hieu
Director of Photography: Nguyen K’LinhEditor: Julie Beziau in Vietnamese 1 hour57 minute

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