Film portraying last Queen of Vietnam to be shot next year


  • Vietnam
  • Sunday, 26 May 2024

Queen Nam Phuong. - Coutrsy of the film crew

HANOI: The life of the last queen consort of Việt Nam, Queen Nam Phương (1913-1963) is set to be portrayed in a motion picture for the first time, focusing on her 10 years in Hue Imperial City before she left Vietnam to settle in France with her children.

The film will be shot next year in collaboration with Galaxy Studio, HKFilm and MAR6 Studios. The script is inspired by the novel Tình Su Nam Phuong Hoang Hau (Queen Nam Phuong's Love Story) by Tran Thi Hao, and a history book by Le Lan Khanh.

"The Imperial City of Huế is where the Queen had the most beautiful memories in her life," said the film directors Bảo Nhân and Namcito at a working session with Thừa Thiên Huế People's Committee [provincial government] this month.

"Queen Nam Phương always shone with intellect, virtue, talent, and agility to survive amid the turmoil of her time."

Bao Nhan and Namcito will co-direct the film. They have worked together before, making the well-known chick-flick series Gai Gia Lam Chieu (Camellia Sisters).

Director Nhan provided an overview of the film project The Last Queen and introduced the directorial, production, distribution team, and film production plan.

The Last Queen has been prepared and invested in since 2020, drawing from a vast historical archive about Queen Nam Phương and the Nguyen Dynasty.

The film aims not to reflect a specific period in the nation's history, but rather to draw inspiration from the life story of Queen Nam Phương to portray a real historical figure on screen.

It focuses on the period of over 10 years that the Queen spent in the royal palace, exploring various aspects of her married life, from happiness to sorrow, with King Bao Dại, until the day the royal family left the Imperial City to start a quiet life abroad.

Nguyen Thanh Bình, the provincial permanent deputy chairman, said he appreciated the film shooting in Huế City.

Bình suggested that the film crew needed to have their own perspective of the land and people of Hue so would have their personal feelings in the process of developing the film's script.

"The relevant bodies in the province will create better conditions for the film crew, and we hope that the film will help publicise the scenery, history and people of Hue City," Bình said.

"The film crew needs to develop detailed plans to execute the scenes. They must coordinate with all sections to carefully prepare."

Through the project, Thua Thien Hue will become a giant film studio for filmmakers amid a widespread lack of locations for shooting historical movies with natural landscapes and ancient architectural sites.

A board has been set up under the provincial umbrella to support the filmmakers. Deputy director of ThuaThien Hue Institute for Research and Development Phan Thuy Van has been appointed head of the board.

The Last Queen will mainly be shot at Kien Trung Palace - the living and working space of King Bảo Dai and Queen Nam Phuong and their children.

Kien Trung Palace was built between 1921 and 1923 during the reign of King Khai Dingh (1885-1925). The palace is an important historical work, marking a unique and special period that complements the traditional Huế royal design.

Its architecture meets the characteristics of an Indochina-style building, with a combination of Asian and European influences.

The film also portrays Duc Tu Cung - the mother of King Bao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese woman, who showed much love and sacrifice for her family and resolute determination to protect and preserve the cultural values and beliefs of the royal family and the nation.

Queen Nam Phuong, born Marie-Therese Nguyen Huu Thi Lan, was the first and primary wife of the last King Bao Dai of Vietnam from 1934 until her death. She also was the first and only queen consort of the Nguyen Dynasty.

The Last Queen will be shot in Hue City, Central Highlands city of Dalat, HCM City and Chabrignac - a small rural village in Correze, France, where the Queen stayed during her last days.

The film crew is planning the casting and the picture will be released in 2026 by Galaxy Studio and HK Film. - Vietnam News/ANN

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