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Film Resource: Bông Sen (The Lotus)

Bông Sen (The Lotus)
Viet Nam, 1998 (105 minutes)

Directors: Tran Dac & Amar Laskri
Cast: El-Mellouhi Niddal, Nguyen An Chinh
Cinematography: Phi Tien Son, Rachid Merabtine, Ahmed Messad
Vietnamese, Arabic, and French with English subtitles
In the 1950s, the French Army sent thousands of indigènes, soldiers conscripted from colonies in North Africa, to fight in the so-called “Dirty War” in Indochina. Set against the growing Vietnamese struggle for independence is a love story involving Ali, portrayed by Algerian actor El-Mellouhi Niddal, and Lien (Nguyen An Chinh), a beautiful Viet Minh guerrilla. As the war progresses and Ali witnesses the growing abuse of the Vietnamese people, he questions the horrible war he and his fellow soldiers have been fighting on behalf of the French. Lien (whose name means “lotus”) inspires Ali and his Algerian comrades to abandon their French officers and join the Viet Minh at the famous battle of Dien Bien Phu.

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