About Viet Nam News

Saturday, April  24, 2004

Voice of a generation: Trinh Cong Son impressed audiences both with his poetic music and magnetic personality. ó VNS File Photo

Film pays tribute to war-singer Son

A movie on the life and works of the famous anti-war musician Trinh Cong Son will hit the screens by the end of this year.

A new private studio, Tan Huu Nghi, has commissioned Meritorious Artist, the director Le Dan, to do the project and he plans to begin shooting this July.

Dan, who will also write the screenplay for Trinh Cong Son-Song va Yeu (Trinh Cong Son-Life and Love), knew Son since the days they were in the Sai Gon studentsí anti-war movement in the 1970s.

"I collected documents from various sources. You could say I lived with Son for three years, especially the last half year when I begin to write the screenplay," Dan said. He meant listening to Sonís music and soaking it up.

The film will be about the life of the musician who reacted to the war with several pacifist songs like Ca Khuc Da Vang (Yellow-skinned Peopleís Songs), Ta Phai Thay Mat Troi (We Must See the Sunlight) and Kinh Viet Nam (Vietnamese Prayer).

Son was born in the Central Highlands province of Dac Lac and grew up in Hue. He trained to become a teacher before beginning to write love songs in the late 50s.

Until he died three years ago, music remained an integral part of his life and the two-episode film will feature 50-60 of his favourite songs.

Dan said that the life and works of Son were so rich that he doesnít need to fictionalise the film to make it interesting.

He went to France last February to meet a Japanese student Yoshi Michiko who did a masterís degree thesis on "Anti-War Songs of Trinh Cong Son."

Son has admirers in Japan where he was awarded a prize in 1969. However, details about the Golden Disc prize given to him are sketchy though Dan hoped to gather them during a visit to Japan in May this year.

Dan also hoped to co-operate with Japanese and French partners with a few scenes to be shot in the two countries. The rest of the 180-minute film will be shot mostly in Sai Gon, Hue, Quy Nhon and Lam Dong.

With a budget of a few billion dong, the film is set for release in foreign countries where Son is loved by many overseas Vietnamese.

The director wanted the filmís post-production to be done abroad to ensure high quality.

He claimed to have found an actor with an uncanny resemblance to the late musician to play the part.

Trinh Cong Son, who passed away after a prolonged illness in HCM City, was awarded the 2004 World Peace Music Award. ó VNS

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