Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vietnamese film The Scent of Green Papaya at Pitt, March 18.

The University of Pittsburgh's Global Ties will show the 1993 Vietnamese-language movie The Scent of Green Papaya (Mùi đu đủ xanh) on March 18 as part of its "Global Spotlight: Vietnam" series of activities in March. From a 1994 Roger Ebert review:
Here is a film so placid and filled with sweetness that watching it is like listening to soothing music. "The Scent of Green Papaya" takes place in Vietnam between the late 1940s and early 1960s, and is seen through the eyes of a poor young woman who is taken as a servant into the household of a merchant family. She observes everything around her in minute detail, and gradually, as she flowers into a beautiful woman, her simple goodness impresses her more hurried and cynical employers. The woman, named Mui, is an orphan - a child, when she first comes to work for the family. She learns her tasks quickly and well, and performs them so unobtrusively that sometimes she seems almost like a spirit. But she is a very real person, uncomplaining, all-seeing, and the film watches her world through her eyes. For her, there is beauty in the smallest details: A drop of water trembling on a leaf, a line of busy ants, a self-important frog in a puddle left by the rain, the sunlight through the green leaves outside the window, the scent of green papaya.
The film will be shown on the 6th floor of the William Pitt Union from 7 to 9 pm, and is free for those with a valid Pitt student ID card.