ME THAO ? THERE WAS ONCE A TIME WHEN
ME THAO – THERE WAS ONCE A TIME WHEN
(Mê Thao Thaoi Vang Bong)
Director: Viet Linh
At the beginning of the 20th century Nguyen, a rich nobleman in North Vietnam, rules over an estate called Mê Thao and shelters Tam, a talented musician. The police are after Tam for a murder committed during a recital by the singer To. Tam is allowed to manage the estate, and becomes Nguyen’s devoted friend. Nguyen is about to be married and a huge reception is being organised to welcome the bride. But she dies in a car accident, and the grief-stricken Nguyen decides that all manufactured items on his estate should be destroyed. He takes to drinking and slips into despair. When the French colonisers meet in Mê Thao to prepare the building of a railway, Nguyen is furious and grows increasingly cruel with his people. Tam is convinced that only music can save him.
Pham Thuy Nhan, Viet Linh and Serge Le Peron (based on the novel Chua Dan by Nguyen Tuan)
Pham Hoang Phong
Dung Nhi, Minh Trang, Don Duong, Thuy Nga
Giai Phong Film Studio
35mm / colour / 110 mins
Viet Linh graduated from VGIK in Moscow and began working as an editor and scriptwriter on documentaries at the Giai Phong Film Studio. She moved to directing features and has so far made seven films (including The Building, 1999), some of which have awards including Best Film at the Women’s Film Festival in Madrid in 1991, and the Grand Prize at the 1992 Fribourg Film Festival in Switzerland.