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WHARF OF WIDOWS

Vietnam, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Regional Focus)

Director: Luu Trong Ninh

Van returns from the war against Vietnam's French colonial rulers to find his village devastated. Married women have lost their husbands, younger women may never find one. All gather at the wharf of widows, by the river that supports them, to grieve, gossip, even laugh in the face of their terrible loss. One of the few able men in the area. Van is avidly sought. He finds himself in the company of Hon, a wealthy landowner and widow reviled by the locals because she represents the wealth and position of the ousted French War with the US and liaisons with two more women further complicate Vans position; an ex-soldier coming to terms with the emotions he refused to express when he embraced his gun.

Screened in Official Selection at the Berlin Film Festival (2001). Wharf of Widows is a visually expressive picture of a whole generation of women Luu Trong Ninh favours magnificently expressive visuals to suggest inner feelings and repressed emotions. Powerful, emotive cinema captured in stupendous widescreen photography.

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