Saturday, 5 November 2016

Between shadow and...

I just came back from Ninh Bình, a small town in the north of Vietnam. It is past midnight now in Saigon. A GrabBike has just dropped me in front of 75 Trần Quốc Thảo, where I have been staying for a little more than a week. I feel contented, hopeful and resolute, confident that things are now going to be great again and end 2016 on a hopeful and brighter note.
A few days ago, I met with the producer of a new long feature film called Giữa bóng tối và tâm hồn (Between Shadow and Soul) that is currently being shot in Vietnam. As I read the first email she sent to me, I was surprised to learn that it was Trần Anh Hùng who suggested that she contacted me. 
He apparently is supporting the project and his wife, Yên Khê is playing one of the leading female roles. A film supported by them could not be a bad one!
The first encounter went very well. I felt like stepping through that door. The story, about a fourteen-year-old young bride who has to face premature adulthood and married life deeply struck a chord in me. Ngọc, the producer suggested that I took a day or two and come meet the director, Phương Anh, who goes by the name of Ash, as well as the whole team. It didn't take long before I accepted the offer. We had not really started anything for the [FEEL] in/out event in Saigon. I had time. 

Called the Ha Long Bay on land, Ninh Bình  is breathtaking. I think I have found the place where I will spend my older years.

Just two days to meet Ash, the director, the whole film crew, the actors. They had been filming for about three weeks already. I was driven to a hotel by a road. I had been dozing on and off on the way from Hanoi, occasionally waking up to see an eye catching landscape, a small village, rice fields or mountains in the background...
Large hotel, fairly new, looking like so many hastily built hotels to accommodate a growing number of tourists. 
"We will meet at three to go to the site. There will be a ceremony because Tina, the assistant director saw the ghost of a little girl sitting on the bed in one of the houses where we will be filming tomorrow..."

A perfect way to start...

And I'm also happy I found the time to pay dear old Tim a visit at the hospital. I really feared for his life and was glad to see he made it through, even if his state of health if far from stable. 
That man is really an adventurer. From Australia which he hates, to years in Hong Kong, and now in Hanoi with this young lad...

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