Wednesday, 1 April 2009
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium
Directed by Dang Nhat Minh
Vietnam, 1984, 90 minutes
A haunting portrait of one womanâ€™s struggle with loss and personal sacrifice during the war, When the Tenth Month Comes is considered by many critics to be the greatest Vietnamese movie ever made. In the final days of the war, a beautiful young widow, Duyen, faces a daily struggle to take care of her young son and ailing father-in-law, all the while hiding from them the fact that her husband has recently been killed in battle. Keeping her secret burden to herself, she is befriended by the village schoolmaster, Khang, who agrees to fabricate letters from her dead husband in order to spare her family sorrow. As their friendship deepens, Duyen and Khang find themselves drawn closer to intimacyâ€”a dangerous relationship if Duyen is to maintain her charade. The title of the movie refers to the month in which the Day of Forgiveness occurs; a time when, it is said, that departed souls may visit loved ones still living. The film resonates beautifully with the traditional Vietnamese precepts of duty and sacrifice, combined with aesthetic influences from centuries of traditional poetry, literature, and theater.