Sunday, December 7, 2008


©Ingrid Booz Morejohn

When I lead a tour I often recommend movies that can be watched either before the tour or after as a way of deepening the travel experience and aiding in understanding a little more about the country, it's people and it's culture. It is also a way of extending the journey when you've returned home - the movie recapturing a mood, atmosphere or even a smell or taste sensation. 

The list below is by no means complete and I have not seen every movie so can't fully vouch for either the quality or the message sent. Vietnam is also unique in that most of the English language movies about the country deal with the Vietnam war, unfortunately tending to forget that Vietnam is first a country and a people and second the setting for two of the most horrible wars of the  20th century.  I caution readers to be prepared for some very disturbing and potentially upsetting scenes. If you have further recommendations please feel free to post any film names as a comment below. (Svenska läsare: många av dessa filmer kan lånas på biblioteken hemma och i princip alla kan köpas på webbbutiker. Fördelen med att låna filmerna i Sverige är att dem då är textade på svenska.)

Vietnamese (or foreign co-produced) movies:

Trilogy by Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran:
The Scent of Green Papaya (Doften av grön papaya. Setting: Vietnam but filmed entirely on a soundstage in France! 1994)
Cyclo (Setting: Saigon, 1995)
Vertical Ray of the Sun (När solen står som högst, 2000, Setting: Hanoi, Halong Bay etc)
Three Seasons (1999, director: Ngoc Hiep Nguyen)
The Buffalo Boy (2004, director Minh Nguyen-Vo)
The White Silk Dress (2007, director Luu Huynh)
Oh, Saigon (2007, director Doan Hoang)
Journey from the Fall (2007, director Ham Tran)

Foreign produced movies set in Vietnam but not dealing directly with the war:
Indochine (1992, starring Catherine Deneuve, filmed partially in Halong Bay)
The Lover (Älskaren, 1992) (setting: Mekong Delta)
The Beautiful Country (2004)

Selection of foreign (non-vietnamese) movies that in some way deal with the Vietnam War:

The Green Berets (1967)
Go Tell The Spartans (1978)
Coming Home (released 1978)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Deer Hunter (1978)
Platoon (2002)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Hamburger Hill (1987)
Full Metal jacket (1987)
A Bright Shining Lie (1998)
Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)
Who'll Stop the Rain (1978)
Tigerland (2000)
84C MoPic (1989)
The fog of War (2003)
Path to War (2002)
The Quiet American (Den stillsamme amerikanaren. Setting Saigon 2002)
Hanoi Hilton (1987)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Heaven and Earth  (1993) 
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) 
Casualties of War (1989) 
We Were Soldiers (2002)

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