New film honours Vietnam's timeless Ao Dai

16:24 | 20/11/2017 Society

The long-lasting beauty of Ao Dai – the traditional dress of Vietnamese women – has become the inspiration for the film Co Ba Sai Gon (The Tailor), which opened on November 14 in theatres around the country.

The vibrant fashion culture of Sai Gon, both past and present, forms a backdrop for the entire movie. In addition, the movie also features several leading women of Vietnamese cinema, including famous 1990s actresses Diem My and Thuy Huong, and two representatives of Vietnamese cinema’s young generation, Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc and Diem My 9x.

One of the movie’s two producers is 38-year-old actress and director Van, who has acted in some Hollywood blockbusters, including Bright which also features Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Edgar Ramirez; and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny together with Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen and Jason Scott Lee. Van also plays a Resistance gunner in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, scheduled to premiere soon.

According to this multi-talented woman, her ambition was to present a part of Vietnamese culture – the Ao Dai – to the world through the movie.

“In the movie, Thanh Mai, the owner of tailor shop, tells her daughter Nhu Y that ‘Ao Daiis the source of our family business’. And the Ao Daiis the source of Vietnamese culture and the source of this movie,” she said at the premiere last week. “With all experience that I accumulated in Hollywood, I want to contribute to the development of Vietnamese cinema.”

To be able to represent an Ao Dai maker, working to present the ‘quintessence’ of the traditional women’s dress, Van and some other cast members had to study with Ao Dai designer Si Hoang, who even opened an Ao Dai museum in HCM City.

All the Ao Dai worn by the cast were created by HCM City-based designer Thuy Nguyen, who is also the movie’s co-producer.

Before screening in Vietnam, The Tailor was presented at the "A Window to Asian Cinema" category at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival 2017 in the Republic of Korea last month.

The movie is screened in Vietnamese with English subtitles in cinemas nationwide.

Theo VOV