far-from-vietnamVietnam: A Vietnamese documentary on a gay man who founded a travelling minstrel troupe of transgender people has been screened at the 36th Cinéma du Réel Festival in Paris.

“Chuyen di cuoi cung cua chi Phung” (The last journey of Madam Phung), which began filming five years ago and completed last month, tells the story of Phung, a gay travelling singer with a critical illness, reports tuoitrenews.vn.

Film director Nguyen Thi Tham, said she was intrigued by the adventurous life adopted by Phung and her troubadour troupe and herself had joined him for some time.

“Coming from a working family background, I’ve always been deeply related to disadvantaged, unfortunate people. Phung passed away soon after we completed filming the documentary, so we changed its title from the original ‘The fair troupe’ to ‘Ms. Phung’s last trip’ in fond memory of her,” Tham told tuoitrenews.vn.

Phung is a gay man who as a Buddhist monk fell in love with another man. So he decided to return to his secular life and formed a travelling troupe of transgender people who like him were considered “social outcasts” and in need of support from one another and to earn a living.

The 30-year-old director shared that during her second year at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Theater and Cinema, she was selected to join a documentary making course and since decided that she would become an independent documentary maker.

Her 86-minute debut documentary, “Chuyen di cuoi cung cua chi Phung” has been warmly embraced in Paris, Nimes, Lyon and Marseille.

The film also competed at Indonesia’s Chopshots Festival and is set to join documentary festivals in Taiwan and the Philippines.

“We just sold the film to a French library. Though the pay isn’t so good, it’s a huge source of encouragement for me and my partners after we spent five years working hard on the project,” said Tham.

Source: tuoitrenews.vn

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