The joint Viet Nam-China film, Vuot Qua Ben Thuong Hai (Across the Shanghai), which charts the revolutionary life of President Ho Chi Minh as the young Nguyen Ai Quoc, will premier in cinemas throughout Viet Nam next Friday.
A rickshaw success: A scene from the film Vuot Qua Ben Thuong Hai (Across the Shanghai). — VNS File Photos
HA NOI —
The drama tracks the revolutionary activities of Nguyen Ai Quoc as he travelled from Hong Kong to Shanghai during 1933 and 1934.
It portrays the young revolutionary's humanity, emotions and nobility as he plays with children, recalls childhood folksongs and arranges offerings for his ancestors on New Year's Eve.
Although French and Chinese nationalist police hunted the escapee after he fled Hong Kong in 1933, Soong Ching-ling and patriotic Vietnamese and international friends in China helped him to reach Vladivostock, Russia the following year.
Vietnamese writers Ha Pham Phu and Le Ngoc Minh and Chinese author Jia Fei wrote the film's script and it was produced by the Viet Nam Writers Association's Film Studio and its Chinese partner, the Zhoujiang Film Studio.
Trieu Tuan, the film's director, says the film highlights the remarkable work of the greatest leader in Viet Nam's modern history in leading his country to freedom.
"Through our film, we hope young audiences will understand the spirit and revolutionary causes of the leader," he says.
Actor Minh Hai of the Viet Nam Drama Theatre, who plays Nguyen Ai Quoc in the film, was chosen from dozens of candidates, says he improved while filming.
"Embodying President Ho Chi Minh is always an honour and a challenge for any actor," he says.
"I'm very proud of having played the young Ho Chi Minh. Besides its historical and political implications, the film is also about the hero of Vietnamese youth," says Hai, adding that he had needed all of his ability for the role.
Revolutionary road: Poster of the film with English subtitles.
Hai has played Ho Chi Minh before–in the drama Bac Ho Ra Tran (Uncle Ho Goes to the Battle). He and his colleagues did extensive research, going through books and documents about the President before and during the filming.
Many of the film's scenes were shot in China's Hengdian Film Studios in Zhejiang Province. The crew also filmed in Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Nghe An provinces.
The Vietnamese Government supported the film to 70 per cent of total outlay, or VND11 billion (US$550,000). Officials hope that the end result will not only be a valuable historic film, but also a work of art.
The film was originally scheduled for earlier release but post-production work delayed the project.
It will screen at Megastar cinemas in Ha Noi and HCM City and at Ha Noi's National Cinema Centre. — VNS