"A Sandy life" wins special prize at France int'l film festival

Nov. 24 (VNA) -- Vietnamese feature film "Doi Cat" (A Sandy Life) won the special prize of the International Film Festival held in Amiens, France, from Nov. 10-19.

Among 21 nominees, including 11 feature films and 10 documentaries, the organizing board awarded the gold prize for a Spanish film and the special prize for "Doi Cat".

This is the first time Viet Nam attended the festival, during which 300 feature and documentary films were screened.

"Doi Cat" directed by Nguyen Thanh Van uses a post-war love triangle to reveal how far-reaching, and unexpected, the effects of war can be.

The film, based on the novel "Ba Nguoi Tren San Ga" (Three People in the Platform) by Huu Phuong, is set in a sandy, wind-swept village on the southern coastline.

It opens on a farewell scene between a young man Canh and his wife Thoa, the two unaware that the escalating war will separate them indefinitely as the country is divided into two parts leaving Canh stranded in the north and Thoa in their southern home town.

The story then picks up two decades later when the now middle-aged Thoa is still faithfully awaiting the return of her husband.

Canh, unaware of Thoa's unceasing dedication, has married another woman, Tam.

When Canh returns to his homeland with his wife and their daughter after 20 years away, he, and the two women who love him, find themselves players in an unexpected and unwelcome love triangle.

The film climaxes when the two women and Canh live together in a state of jealousy and compromise. The war may have ended but these three have not found peace. Every night Tam and her daughter await Canh while he, and Thoa, also pass many sleepless nights.

Forgiveness and sympathy come a little late when the three ultimately say their farewells.

The film traces at the same time the plight of Hao, a woman searching for a happly life despite her two legs having become paralysed during the war.

It becomes evident that Hao, with her physical scars, has an easier recovery than either Tam or Thoa whose spirits are heavy with the wounds of war.

"Doi Cat" won in the best film category in the annual Viet Nam Cinema Association awards last year.

The feature film is among five Vietnamese films to compete in the 45th Asia-Pacific Film Festival scheduled to be held in Ha Noi from Dec. 7-10.--VNA