New York Times - 10/11/1993
"...Tranquilly beautiful....THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA marks a luxuriant, visually seductive debut for Mr. Hung..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/1994
"...Distinct and underivative. This is a remarkably confident and achieved debut feature..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/17/1995
"...Diaphonous....You feel almost like one of the film's many secretive, peeping characters." -- Rating: B+
Film Comment - 11/01/1993
"...GREEN PAPAYA marries nature and artifice....Hung Tran Anh wholly entrances the viewer with lovely, incremental detail..."
Los Angeles Times - 02/02/1994
"...A film as delicate and evocative as its name....Ravishing..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/11/1994
"...A film of great visual beauty; watching it is like seeing a poem for the eyes..."
USA Today - 03/24/1995
"...Possibly the most purely sensual piece of cinema since DAYS OF HEAVEN..."
In 1950s Saigon, Mui, a 10 year-old peasant girl, goes to work as a servant for a merchant family. Quiet, well-mannered, and almost supernaturally observant of the most minute and beautiful details that life has to offer, she grows into a young woman who is as much a part of the somewhat dysfunctional family as the real members themselves. As the family runs out of money, she is sent to work for a family friend, a young man whom she has known since she was a child and whom she secretly loves. Beautifully photographed, the film was the winner of the Camera d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film.
Set in the period between the fall of French control and the rise of American aggression, the story of a poor rural girl in Saigon focuses on a privileged family trapped in grief. 10-year-old Mui comes to work as a maid but becomes a substitute daughter in a family that has lost its only girl child. The young servant brings hope to the mother and grandmother as she grows in the home. After the ne'er-do-well father runs away for the third time with the family's fortune, they fall on hard times; eventually, her mistress is forced to sell Mui. Now a woman, Mui goes to the home of a new master whom she has loved quietly since a child. Unable to speak her desire, she shows her affection in every service she performs for him. Eventually, they cross the boundary between servant and employer and love one another.
Love Story |
Social Issues |
Theatrical Release |
Additional cast members include Gerard Neth (Tin), Nhat Do (Lam), Thi Hai Vo (Grandmother), Thi Thanh Tra Nguyen (Mai), Lam Huy Bui (Doctor) and Xam Thu Nguyen (Antique Dealer).
This film was made with financial support from the Fondation Gan pour le Cinema.
Though set in Vietnam, "The Scent of the Green Papaya" was filmed in France. Vietnam officially entered the film in the Academy Awards.
Rated BBFC U by the British Board of Film Classification.