New film based on famous epic poem has contemporary twist

Female film producer Mai Thu Huyen has launched her new film project based on a famous Vietnamese epic poem written in the 18th century recognised as one of the country's top literary works.

Television series to tell the Tale of Kieu
The Tale of Kieu sets new records

New film based on famous epic poem has contemporary twist

The poster for Kieu, a new film from producer Mai Thu Huyen, based on the famous Vietnamese epic poem The Tale of Kieu, from the 18th century. — Photo courtesy of producer

The film Kiều is based on Truyện Kiều (The Tale of Kiều) by Nguyen Du (1766-1820).

It recounts the life and trials of Thuy Kieu, a talented young woman who is forced to sacrifice herself to save her family.

Kieu sells herself into a loveless marriage in exchange for her father and younger brother’s freedom from prison. Later Kieu’s husband forces her into prostitution.

According to the film’s producer Huyen, Kieu will not be pitied as the character in the poem is. She overcomes challenges and fate, and transmits the spirit of Vietnamese women, she said at the launch in HCM City.

“I wanted to make Kieu more contemporary rather than dating back 300 years. Her inner beauty and strength should win over audiences’ hearts,” said Huyen, who began her career as a TV actress and has more than 15 years in the industry.

Huyen spent more than 10 years preparing for her film.

To guarantee her film’s success, Huyen invited Meritorious Artist Phi Tien Son and Tran Buu Loc, both talented film directors of HCM City, to join filming. She also used fashion designer Thuy Nguyen to create costumes for Kieu.

The filming will start next month.

Kieu will be in cinemas next year to celebrate 100 years of the death of Nguyen Du.


Epic poetry

Truyện Kiều is a 3,254-line verse novel written in lục bát, (the sin-eight-word distich metre), a traditional verse form of Vietnamese poetry.

It is used in textbook for secondary schools.

One of the most popular versions is under the title The Tale of Thúy Kiều and has been revised by Bui Ky and Tran Trong Kim, two of the country’s most notable scholars of the 20th century.

The book was reprinted by Nhã Nam Publishing House of HCM City. It contains 11 images drawn by famous Vietnamese master painters such as To Ngoc Van, Tran Van Can and Nguyen Gia Tri.

It has been translated into 20 different languages, including French, Chinese, English, Russian and Japanese.

Nguyen Du, also known as To Nhu, was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Figure, among 108 others, in 2003. — VNS

French artists to adapt Vietnam’s masterpiece ‘Tale of Kieu’ into musical theatre

French artists to adapt Vietnam’s masterpiece ‘Tale of Kieu’ into musical theatre

Vietnam’s 18th century poetic masterpiece ‘Tale of Kieu’ by celebrated poet Nguyen Du will be adapted into a musical theatre production for the first time by French artists.  

French artists to perform 'Tale of Kieu'

French artists to perform 'Tale of Kieu'

Vietnamese epic The Tale of Kieu will be performed by French artists for the first time in Hanoi tomorrow.

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