Mrs. Nguyen – a Vietnamese blue-collar retiree and former migrant worker in East Germany – returns to Berlin where she inherits an urn containing her German ex-husband’s ashes and his pet slow loris monkey, Cu Li. After smuggling both the urn and Cu Li back to Vietnam, she embarks on a journey, retracing the steps of her memories to scatter her husband’s ashes at the hydroelectric plant where they first met.
When the Berlin Wall fell, tens of thousands of Vietnamese labourers were displaced – including my aunt and uncles who immigrated to East Germany to escape Vietnam in the 1970s. Many returned home to Vietnam but home was not what it once was. The country had moved on without them, and these returning children of Vietnam found themselves to be strangers in their motherland. Cu Li Never Cries is about Mrs. Nguyen preparing to spend the rest of her life alone. The journey of trying to hold on to the last pieces of a fading memory. A memory never to be felt again, like the ashes of her ex-husband, blowing in the wind.
Director: Pham Ngoc Lân
Producers: DNY Viet Nam (Vietnam), Acrobates Films (France), Epicmedia (Philippines)
European WCF partner: Acrobates Films (France)
World sales: tbc
Funded in the WCF jury meeting in November 2019
Funding amount: 40.000 €