The film is about five men enjoying an odd friendship in Vietnam’s central Quang Tri province, a site still bearing the scars of war.
Thanh, Hoang, Phuong, Dinh and Loc, like many around them, carry scars from the Vietnam War, both in body and mind. They work in the gold mines surrounding their village, or search for landmines along paths previously used by tanks, in order to make ends meet.
As they wait out the winter with songs, wine stolen from Loc’s wife, and musings about youth and their own survival, they are haunted by the detonations of bombs being excavated from the village’s soil. Together they reminisce about the war that has defined the boundaries of their lives, though they never fought it.
Pham Thu Hang’s moving documentary deftly captures the dark shadow of war and death, present in even everyday conversation and simple gestures.
Meanwhile in the category of Most Promising Project, another female film-maker of Vietnam, Dao Thi Minh Trang, was honoured with her film project entitled “Never been Kissed.”
This is one of the 10 projects selected for the Southeast Asian Film Lab, a programme helping young film makers in Southeast Asia to develop their very first works.VNA