Celebrating 11 Years of Screening Southeast Asian Cinema 2004-2015
Wednesday, September 9 at 6:30pm
St. John Plant Science Lab, Room 11 (basement)
Viet Nam (2012, 100 min)
Vietnamese w/English subtitles
Director: Victor Vu
Screenwriters: Hong Phuc, Doan Nhat Nam, Victor Vu
Cinematographer: Nguyen K’Linh
Fight choreography: Johnny Tri Nguyen
Music: Christopher Wong
Cast: Huynh Dong, Midu, Khuong Ngoc, Van Trang, Minh Thuan
BLOOD LETTER/SWORD OF THE ASSASSIN, from director Victor Vu, is an ambitious and sprawling stab at kiem hiep (Vietnamese sword fighting genre). Adapted from a popular novel by Bui Anh Tan, the film begins with the Le Chi Vien massacre, leaving a young boy as the only survivor of the Nguyen Trai family, who is found by a monk. He raises this child and trains him in martial arts. The boy becomes an adult with great fighting skills, as well as a new name, Tran Nguyen Vu. After he is told of his family’s history, Nguyen Vu sets out on a vengeful journey to clear his family’s name. Along his mission, he meets another seeking revenge — Hoa Xuan, a sword-wielding female martial artist. They decide to join forces and seek revenge against the very ones that framed them for crimes they didn’t commit: The royal family!
Shot throughout Vietnam, BLOOD LETTER is one of the most beautifully lensed films to come out of Vietnam, with breathtaking shots of crystal clear lakes and green, majestic mountains, showcasing the very beauty of Vietnam. The fight choreography, which is top-notch, was designed and directed by action star Johnny Tri Nguyen (THE REBEL, CLASH). The result is Vietnam’s very first kiem hiep film. BLOOD LETTER was released during the Tet holidays (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), where it packed movie theaters for weeks and presented Vietnam in a new light to the locals: Where sword play is abundant, historic costumes are opulent, and the main characters are stoic and heroic.
-Anderson Le, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival (2012)
Support of the course ASAN 491G Cinema of Southeast Asia. Partial funding to purchase the films comes from the U.S. Dept. of Education and generous contributions from our loyal film fans.
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