The Way Station
Dao cua dan ngu cu
Directed by Hong Anh
(Drama) Canadian Premiere. The Way Station is adapted from Đỗ Phước Tiến’s story titled Đảo Của Dân Ngụ Cư (The Island of Aliens) written in 1992. It was translated into French and English. Famed writer Nguyễn Quang Lập wrote the movie script in 1996.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Phước, a restaurant chef’s assistant, who portrays the desperation of the characters in their search for happiness. The other characters include a Chinese-Vietnamese businessman and his daughter, an Indian-Vietnamese businessman and a Khmer from the south of Việt Nam.
It takes place in a restaurant called White Night, which is almost a character in itself, observing everyone inside including the owner, and their old-fashioned arbitrary way of thinking.
The film takes the audience through the lives of people from around the country who gather in a little village by the sea. It depicts the confusion and uncertainty of their journeys to find happiness and meaning.
“PHUOC wanders aimlessly and stops at the restaurant DEM TRANG (WHITE NIGHT) owned by THE BOSS. Slowly, Phuoc realises the lives of the people who work in this restaurant – this family. Sharing the living space and working life with Phuoc is AHMED and MIEN. In the crumbling space of the restaurant, there is also XIEM HOA – the pretend wife of The boss, and a beautiful woman named CHU – The boss’s daughter. Phuoc arrives, makes friends with Mien and Chu. Jealousy, payback, and violence between Mien and Phuoc take place in their little love triangle. The boss finally finds out about his daughter’s secret sex life with the workers. The imperious father does an unexpected thing.”
Previous Screening / Awards: 2017 ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards Winner Best Film & Winner Best Director of Photography (Story at Viet Nam News), 2018 Asia-Pacific Film Festival Winner Best Story, 2017 Cairo International Film Festival
Hong Anh has been a prominent figure in the Vietnamese film industry for over 20 years. As an renowned actress, she is best known for Moon at the Bottom of the Well (2008), Sleepwalking Woman (2003), Deserted Valley (2002), Sandy Lives (1999), Hai Nguyet (1998) Accolades include Best Leading Actress at Dubai International Film Festival (2008), Best Supporting Actress at Asia-Pacific Film International Festival (2000), Golden Lotus Awards for Best Leading Actress at three consecutive Vietnam’s National Film Festival. The Way Station has been a dream project for the past 10 years and it’s her first feature film as a director.
Writer: Do Phuoc Tien
Producers: Vu Tuan Anh & Nguyen Thanh Ha
Cast: Hoang Phuc Nguyen, Ngoc Hiep Nguyen, Hong Phuoc Pham, Ngoc Thanh Tam, Nhan Phuc Vinh
Preceded by: The Way Station