Square Eyes Boards Vietnamese Drama ‘Cu Li Never Cries’ Ahead of Berlinale Premiere, Trailer Debuts (EXCLUSIVE)

World sales agency Square Eyes has boarded Vietnamese drama “Cu Li Never Cries,” which has its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival. Variety debuts the trailer below.

The film is directed by Phạm Ngọc Lân, who wrote the screenplay with Nghiêm Quỳnh Trang. The cast includes Minh Châu, Hà Phương, Xuân An, Hoàng Hà and Cao Sang.

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In the film, Mrs. Nguyện picks up the ashes of her long-estranged husband in Germany, and returns to her Vietnamese home. In her luggage she is carrying a pygmy slow loris, a species of primate from the Vietnamese rainforest, which she has inherited from the deceased.

Her young niece, who lives with her, is preparing for her wedding. The young couple anxiously ponder their uncertain future together. The present in which the characters live and the complex echoes of Vietnamese history intertwine in a contemplative and poetic way.

According to notes by Lân, Mrs. Nguyện’s past “has been weighed down by the burdens of history and time.” He adds that stories of individuals like Mrs. Nguyện are “cloaked in the fog of time and woven in between the complications of personal memories, historical contexts, and political regimes.” The film is “a query full of doubt about the happiness that Mrs. Nguyện, and we, never stop searching for,” Lân says.

The producers are Nghiêm Quỳnh Trang and Trần Thị Bích Ngọc. The production companies are Cadence Studio and Ân Nam Productions.

Lân’s short films have included “The Story of Ones,” which screened at Visions du Réel; “Another City,” which was at the Berlinale; “Blessed Land,” which was also at the Berlinale; and “The Unseen River,” which screened at Locarno and Sundance. “Cu Li Never Cries” is his first feature-length film.

Cu Li Never Cries
“Cu Li Never Cries”

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