Cyclo

Film

Gangster films

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Time Out says

The story's set in motion by the theft of a pedal cab essential to the economic survival of an 18-year-old Vietnamese. But forget Bicycle Thieves, and forget, too, writer/director Tran Anh Hung's debut feature, The Scent of Green Papaya. When the 'cyclo' (Le Van Loc) tells his boss that his vehicle's been stolen by professional rivals, he finds himself at the mercy of the Poet (Tony Leung), a taciturn gangster who diverts the boy from self-improvement (as advised by his late father) and into a life of crime. What the boy doesn't know, however, is that the Poet has also lured his sister (Tran Nu Yen Khe) into prostitution: in the desperate, hustling world of Ho Chi Minh City, it seems, innocence is unprotected. With its dazzling camerawork, feverish energy and dark, visceral power, this admirably unsentimental film paints a compelling portrait of moral derailment and salvation in a city in social and spiritual turmoil. The plot's packed with absent, uncaring or malign father figures; the tone is alternately tender or brutally violent; and the use of water and fire as symbols of purification and destruction gives rise to vivid dreamlike imagery. It'll have you reeling.
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Release details

UK release:

1995

Duration:

129 mins

Cast and crew

Music:

Ton That Tiet

Cast:

Nguyen Hoang Phuc, Le Van Loc, Nguyen Nhu Quynh, Tony Leung, Tran Nu Yen Khe

Production Designer:

Daniel Zalay

Cinematography:

Benoit Delhomme

Director:

Tran Anh Hung

Screenwriter:

Tran Anh Hung

Producer:

Christophe Rossignon

Editor:

Nicole Dedieu, Claude Ronzeau

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