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L'odeur de la papaye verte = The scent of green papaya

DVD - 2011 | Vietnamese
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Little things mean a lot to ten-year-old Mui, who is trained to be a house servant in Vietnam during the '50s. As she grows up in pre-war Saigon, she finds quiet love with a family friend. As she discovers the world around her, Mui marvels at every sight, sound, and scent she experiences while going about her workday life.


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Mar 10, 2016

A beautifully told and photographed Vietnamese movie. It is a work of art that displays the true beauty of the world to a peasant Vietnamese girl. She noticed all the beauties of nature, which makes the movie special. How a Vietnamese family lives together with many generations living together is fascinating. You will also learn how to cook Vietnamese food since it is one of the lead characters main jobs. A really great Vietnamese movie that KCLS has proudly procured for us all to see.

Dec 05, 2014

Saigon 1951, and 10-year old country lass Mui, wide-eyed and innocent, has just arrived in the big city where she’s hired as a domestic by an upper middle class family. Life is good, the work is easy, and because she resembles her mistress’ dead daughter Mui also enjoys a few special privileges. But the life of the relatively rich is not as grand as she imagined for grandma has been an upstairs hermit ever since her husband died, the lady of the house seems to be the sole breadwinner, and her spouse has a habit of grabbing the cash box and taking extended tours of Saigon’s many brothels. Furthermore, the middle son has made a hobby out of torturing insects while the youngest is determined to make Mui’s life as difficult as possible. In other words, they’re bourgeois. But our plucky little heroine is so in tune with nature (she smiles at ants!) and her noble peasant ways that she barely notices the little brat farting in her general direction. Ten years later the kindly mistress, now a forlorn widow, reluctantly lets Mui go, but not before bestowing upon her the meagre dowry originally meant for her own deceased daughter. Still sporting her vacuous smile (only as an adult it looks less endearing and more like brain damage) Mui becomes the housemaid of a handsome young pianist much to the chagrin of his immaculately coiffed fiancée. A prolonged seduction takes place (oh the power of lipstick!) as man and servant enter into a pygmalion-like relationship which sees Mui finally realizing her full potential. Yes, this Cannes winner and Oscar nominee boasts some amazing cinematography filled with bright vibrant colours and warm tropical locales (actually filmed entirely on a Parisian sound stage) but its snail’s pace challenged my patience throughout while its jaw-aching sweetness practically oozed from every frame. Contrived and emotionally unconvincing, this is a Vietnamese Pollyanna whose rich visuals barely mask a core of pure cinematic syrup. Spielberg would weep.

Sep 02, 2014

This is a 1993 Vietnamese-language film produced in France by Lazennec Production, directed by Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung.
The film won the Caméra d'Or prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for the 1993 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Although set in Vietnam, the film was shot entirely on a soundstage in Boulogne, France.
The musical score, both original material and well-known classical music pieces, creates the synaesthetic illusion of scent throughout the film.
In some ways, the music serves a metaphor for scent, with rapid transitions and modulations signaling abrupt emotional changes, just as occurs when a scent, invisible to the eye, eventually penetrates a person's consciousness and a message is transmitted to the brain.
This is a poetic rendering of Mui's love story.


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