It shook people up when it came out as a book, moved them on the stage and is now set to stir emotions again as a movie.
The celluloid version of Nguyen Ngoc Tu's work Canh dong bat tan (The endless field), which will be released in 2011, has a glittering star cast including Do Hai Yen, Dustin Nguyen and Tang Thanh Ha.
Tu"s work, released in 2003, is a dramatic story of a peasant family's unexpected involvement with a prostitute. Ut Vu is a single father living with his daughter and son after his wife left him. He has totally lost his faith in love when Suong steps into his family's life.
Canh dong bat tan is considered a turning point in Tu's career.
Director Nguyen Phan Quang Binh, has just got back to the city after two months of shooting.
"I first read Canh dong bat tan in 2003, and was immediately enchanted. I convinced scriptwriters Nguy Ngu and Nguyen Ho (also a renowned director) to meet Nguyen Ngoc Tu for an adaptation contract. But I did not dare to film it at that time," said Binh.
"Six years was sufficient time to live and experience (the story), and give me the determination to make it."
After the shooting, Binh said that he has not escaped from his story and four main characters.
"At first I thought Ut Vu, a taciturn but sensitive man, would be the hardest character to play. However, Dustin Nguyen's striking portrayal has done it justice. So the challenge was passed to Hai Yen's role as a prostitute. She has put 200 percent into the role," said Binh.
Dustin Nguyen, 48, one of the most successful Asian American actors, appeared in the critically acclaimed film "Little fish," alongside Cate Blanchett in 2005.
Yen, 28, captured her role as Phuong in Phillip Noyce's "The quiet American" (2002).
Yen plays Suong, a woman at the bottom of society, tread underfoot by everyone, who "had a high mountain to climb" in retaining her altruism and love, she said.
Binh said both he and Dustin Nguyen treasured Yen for her "sacrifices" in playing Suong, suffering several cuts and bruises during the shooting.
Talking about the sex scenes in the film, Binh stressed they were neither vulgar nor carnal in nature.