Vietnam Television Film Centre (VFC) held a press conference on March 29 to announce the debut of the centre’s latest TV series Silence of the Abyss.
The 32-episode series portrays the stunning landscapes of the country’s mountainous northwestern region and the life of Mong people – dwellers of the mountains.
Adapted from a novel by writer Do Bich Thuy, who also scripted the TV series, Silence of the Abyss tell a tale of love and tragedy evolved around mountain people’s ancient practice of bride stealing.
Thuy, a native of Ha Giang, has written several highly acclaimed works about the life of Mong people including Pao’s story and Harmonica behind the stony cliff.
The custom was originally designed to help poor grooms, who were unable to offer the often extravagant amount of dowry demanded by the bride’s family, to be able to marry their lovers.
Contrary to many outsiders’ beliefs, the stealing of the bride almost always received her parents’ implicit blessing. On a set date, they would turn a blind eye and allow the groom to steal their daughter as a way to overcome the hurdle of the ancient dowry rules.
Bride-stealing custom can be found among many of the mountainous region’s ethnicities as well as other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, once in a while people may decide to take advantage of the custom and forcefully steal the bride against her will such as the case of Sua, a young Mong girl, who was stolen by the village’s rich boy and separated from her lover. The exploitation of the noble ancient custom led to tragedies for all parties involved with three broken hearts and an unhappy marriage.
The film crew stayed in Ha Giang for four months during production phase with temperature dropping to sub-zero level at times while facing a shortage of water due to the dry season in the mountain. In order to play their characters, the series’ actors and actresses learned how the Mong people talk, work and play.