‘Glorious Ashes’ to represent Việt Nam at 2024 Oscars

Tro Tàn Rực Rỡ (Glorious Ashes) has become Việt Nam’s representative in the preliminary round of the international feature film category at the 2024 Oscars

HÀ NỘI — Tro Tàn Rực Rỡ (Glorious Ashes) has become Việt Nam’s representative in the preliminary round of the international feature film category at the 2024 Oscars.

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Actress Phương Anh Đào, who plays Nhàn, in a scene from ‘Glorious Ashes’. — Photo courtesy of Ân Nam Films.

A National Council, specifically established by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, chose Glorious Ashes with the highest vote.

This work marks the return after a 10-year absence of director Bùi Thạc Chuyên since Lời nguyền huyết ngải (The Curse of the Blood Wormwood).

Glorious Ashes is adapted from two short stories by novelist Nguyễn Ngọc Tư: Glorious Ashes and Củi mục trôi về (Rotten Firewood Returns). Chuyên narrates the fate of devastated people in Thơm Rơm hamlet – a poignant Western fishing village in Cà Mau Province.

Glorious Ashes centres on the unusual love lives of three women. Their story presents a contrast between the tumultuous feelings within and the tranquillity of the region in which they reside.

“In my opinion, a film that evokes empathy and delves into people’s lives is a complete film. Audiences will embrace works like this. I hope Glorious Ashes finds its audience, and they can connect with the film as deeply as they do with their own souls,” Chuyên told Vietnamplus.

Director Chuyên and the film crew spent seven years preparing for the film. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the film crew had to reproduce it several times and faced numerous challenges. However, Glorious Ashes has gained recognition and received numerous honours.

In October 2022, the film debuted at the Tokyo International Film Festival and made it to the Top 15.

A month later, the film won the top award – Montgolfière d’Or (Golden Balloon) – at the Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes, France.

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Director Bùi Thạc Chuyên at the ‘Glorious Ashes’ premiere in Hà Nội. VNA/

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Photo Minh Anh.

In December 2022, the film was officially released to Vietnamese audiences and was warmly received by both critics and the general public.

“Director Chuyên not only captures the cultural richness of indigenous characteristics in Tư’s literature but also depicts it in a cognitive space where the characters seem to be internally wounded,” journalist and film critic Lê Hồng Lâm wrote on Vietcetara.

Though Glorious Ashes is an arthouse film, its box office performance lagged behind other commercial films, but it still garnered over VNĐ4.1 billion.

On 9 September, Glorious Ashes was honoured with Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography at the Golden Kite Awards, organised annually by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association. Chuyên also secured the Best Director Award.

The only Vietnamese film to receive an official Oscars nomination for Best International Feature Film was in 1993 with Trần Anh Hùng’s Mùi đu đủ xanh (The Scent of Green Papaya). Although The Scent of Green Papaya was produced in France, its director requested for it to be submitted as Việt Nam’s representative for the Oscars.

Những đứa trẻ trong sương (Children of the Mist) by young director Hà Lệ Diễm is the first Vietnamese documentary to make it to the Top 15 nominations list of the 2023 Oscars.

Previously, on 21 September, Vietnamese-French director Hùng’s film The Pot au Feu was chosen by France to participate in the 2024 Oscars.

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