FILM

NEWS: Vietnamese Director Defends Award-Winning Film ‘The Third Wife’ After Controversy Over Intimate Scenes

4 June 2019

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NEWS: Vietnamese Director Defends Award-Winning Film ‘The Third Wife’ After Controversy Over Intimate Scenes

Ash Mayfair’s ‘The Third Wife’ has faced criticism for scenes involving then 13-year-old Nguyen Phuong Tra My and her much older co-stars, but the filmmaker says the movie focuses on women’s rights and challenges the country’s “patriarchal traditions.”

Vietnamese director Ash Mayfair has issued a defiant defense of her debut feature, The Third Wife, following controversy over intimate scenes involving the film’s young female star that led to the production being withdrawn from cinemas in the country.

“I am speaking up for artists and for the right to create,” Mayfair told The Hollywood Reporter, in her first public comments since the film was withdrawn from cinemas in Vietnam last Tuesday.

“This [controversy] cannot make Vietnamese artists afraid to express their viewpoint.”

The Third Wife’s release in Vietnam on May 17 sparked debate in the country’s National Assembly as well as across both traditional and social media, with much of the focus on intimate scenes involving actress Nguyen Phuong Tra My and her much older co-stars. My was 13 at the time of shooting.

As these debates raged, Mayfair and her producers decided to withdraw the film from cinemas after four days, pointing also to their concerns following a stream of online abuse directed at the star and her mother.

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