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Vietnam’s Past and Present Mingle in Locarno’s ‘Cu Li Never Cries’

14 August 2019

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Vietnam’s Past and Present Mingle in Locarno’s ‘Cu Li Never Cries’

Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Ngoc Lan is all set to make his feature debut with his satirical comedy-drama “Cu Li Never Cries,” which is being presented in Locarno Festival’s Open Doors program.

In the film, Lady M., a blue-collar retiree in Vietnam, returns to Berlin when she learns that her estranged German husband has died. The legacy her husband has left her is an urn with his ashes and Cu Li, his pet pygmy slow Loris (a primate found primarily in Southeast Asia). Upon returning to Vietnam, Lady M. finds that her pregnant niece Van is rushing into marriage, and fears that she will make the same life mistakes as she did. Lady M. proceeds to embark upon a journey retracing her memories, evoking Vietnam’s storied past.

“Cu Li Never Cries” was previously presented at Cannes’ Cinefondation L’Atelier, Busan’s Asian Project Market, SEAFIC x PAS, Produire au Sud’s Southeast Asia workshop, and Talents Tokyo.

Principal photography on the film is penciled in for mid-2020.

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Photo credit: Variety