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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Programs > Film > On Demand Cinema for Educators > Vietnamese Cinema for Educators > Con Chim Vành Khuyên – Passerine Bird

Con Chim Vành Khuyên – Passerine Bird

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53597_310x459Hanoi Feature Film Studio
Black and White – 35mm – 42 minutes – 1962

Scriptwriter: Nguyen Van Thong
Director: Nguyen Van Thong, Tran Vu
Cinematography: Nguyen Dang Bay
Art Design by: Nguyen Nhu Huan
Music by: Hoang Van
Cast: To Buu (Nga’s father), To Uyen (little Nga), Thuy Vinh (revolutionary cadre)

Little Nga and her father earn their living by fishing on a riverbank. He father also carries a secret duty of transporting revolutionary cadres across the river to do their mission. Little Nga also helps her father with that secret duty. French troops have suspected little Nga’s family for a long time of coordinating with people of the resistance war. When hearing that there will be a group of cadres crossing the river, the French tied little Nga’s father and forced her to pretend doing her daily routine in order to trick the cadres. However, little Nga used her cleverness, wisdom, and bravery to rush to the riverbank to alert the cadres of the French troops. While doing that, she was shot down. Just before her last breath, little Nga releases a passerine bird – a dear friend of hers – whom she has been taking care of.

* Golden Lotus prize – announced at the second Viet Nam Film Festival in 1973 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Vietnam Revolutionary Cinema (1953 – 1973)

* Special Judges Prize, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czechoslovakia, 1962

Source: Viet Nam Film Institute, (2008). Catalogue of Vietnamese Awarded Films (1949-2005). Ha Noi: Viet Nam.

Additional Notes:

The Vietnam Film Institute (Hanoi) stumbled upon a deteriorating 16mm print of this lost classic, which the Hong Kong Film Archive restored and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i, subtitled in 2010 as part of their university course that trains students in the art of translating and subtitling films from Southeast Asia.

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