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PROJECT CU LI NEVER CRIES (HD / color / 100min / Vietnam) NO 7
DIRECTOR PHAM NGOC Lan
WRITER PHAM NGOC Lan, NGHIEM Quynh Trang
PRODUCER PHAN Dang Di
PRODUCTION DNY Vietnam Productions
PROJECT STATUSDevelopment
DIRECTOR - PHAM NGOC Lan
Pham Ngoc Lan is an emerging artist in Hanoi, Vietnam with a background in urban planning. Using film and photography as his two main tools of expression, his art attaches special importance to the direct, poetic and, especially, the whimsical aspects of human life. It is also associated with urban relationship issues, ranging from the minimal city landscapes to shifts in the citizens’ consciousness.

Lan’s first short film The Story of Ones (2011) screened at numerous film festivals and art museums, including Visions du Réel (Switzerland), CPH-DOX (Denmark), New Cinema and Contemporary Art - Rencontres Internationales (France), and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan). One year later, he was invited to the Programme for Creators Residency in Hokkaido, Japan, where he organized his first exhibition.

In 2015, Lan’s first short fiction project Another City (2016) joined the Short Film Station in Berlinale Talents, and later, the completed film was selected for the Berlinale Shorts Competition at Berlin International Film Festival 2016.
SYNOPSIS
Lady ‘M’ goes back to East Berlin to attend her German husband’s funeral, but by the time she arrives, the ceremony is already over. She has inherited two things: a porcelain cremation urn, and Cu Li - a slow loris originating from the Indochinese peninsula. Wandering around where her husband used to work, Lady M sees a woman who looks just like her sunbathing in a small penguin pavilion. She returns to Hanoi, perplexed.

On the day of the summer solstice, when a western fairytale-style miniature castle is constructed in the middle of an iceskating rink in Hanoi, Vân - a niece living with Lady M and Vân’s country boyfriend, Quang, are among the young people attending the opening ceremony. Later on, Vân finds out that she is pregnant with Quang’s baby.

When Lady M returns, she reacts angrily to Vân’s marriage plans. As Vân and Quang hastily prepare for the wedding, under pressure from the groom’s family, they accidentally knock over the cremation urn, and Quang replaces the ashes inside with dirt. Upset after an argument with Vân, Lady M takes the urn and leaves.

Lady M goes to the hydroelectric power plant where she first met her German husband, and where she scatters what she believes to be his ashes. She also decides to shave Cu Li’s fur, following people’s advice.

Finally, Vân and Quang’s bizarre wedding takes place in a tropical forest. Quang’s mother hosts the event, in spite of being critically weak and thin as a rake. Vân, heavily pregnant, is exhausted by the wedding celebrations. Lady M’s sudden visit with Cu Li eases Vân’s anxiety. Nobody realizes a fire is spreading and swallowing up the wedding stage.
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