The Scent of Green Papaya

Featured image for “The Scent of Green Papaya”
Shown: January 4, 2016 at 6pm

Director : Tran Anh Hùng

Country : Vietnam / France

Release Date : 1993

Duration : 104 mins

Language : Vietnamese

Subtitles : Yes


A young peasant girl named Mui is hired to work for a well-to-do family in Saigon. Although the household’s fortunes change for the worse, Mui stays with them as a servant and grows infatuated with one of their friends, the handsome Khuyen. Years later, Mui is employed by Khuyen, who has become a renowned pianist. Although Khuyen has a girlfriend, he gradually begins to realise his own strong connection with Mui.  A modern fairy-tale of visual beauty set in 1940s Vietnam.

The movie’s poetic-realist design meshes detailed, patient observation and delectable, poignant travelling shots; it grounds us in the quotidian duties of service and dissects contemporary Vietnamese social hierarchies, yet adds up to something much more subtle and enticing: a lyrical portrait of the human spirit in work and in love. Exquisitely controlled.”  (Derek Adams – Time Out)