INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL
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Winner of the prestigious Camera d’Or for best first film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL is an enthralling and meditative film from Vietnamese filmmaker Thien An Pham. A reverie on faith, loss, and nature expressed with uncommon invention and depth, the film is based on the director''s upbringing in Lam Dong province, the epicenter of sericulture and the silk industry in Vietnam. The film is a simple tale told with visual complexity: after a car accident claims the life of his sister-in-law, an aimless salary worker named Thien (Le Phong Vu) leaves Saigon for a trip back to his rural hometown to bury family and to find care for his orphaned nephew. During his meditative, wandering visit, Thien wrestles with his own agnosticism in the face of others’ religious beliefs, summons memories of his long-disappeared brother, and reconnects with a former girlfriend who now lives as a nun at a Christian church and school. With its drifting camera, evocative use of natural light, and gratifying itinerant nature, this is an exciting entry in Vietnam''s emerging arthouse cinema, reminiscent of early Tran Anh Hung and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.