Vietnamese female director Nguyen Hoang Diep’s first feature “Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere” has been voted as the best film at the Critics’ Week sidebar of the 71st Venice Film Festival.
Flapping beat six other films from France, Italy, China, Germany and Palestine on September 5 to take home the top honor at the Critics’ Week.
The film tells the story of Huyen, a pregnant teenager who turns to escort work to earn money for an abortion.
After leaving her rural village to attend college in Hanoi, Huyen has a romantic relationship with Tung, a street-lamp repairman addicted to cock fighting.
As Tung flees his home to escape debts, Huyen -- with the help of her transgender housemate Linh --reluctantly prostitutes herself for cash, only to find herself falling in love with Hoang, a customer with a fetish for pregnant women.
“Poised in its mise-en-scene, poetic in employing visual panache and precise in capturing details which hint at the harsh realities of inner-city life, Diep's film offers a sensitive, sensual and surprisingly candid representation of sexuality and adolescence in Vietnam,” critic Clarence Tsui said on US film review website The Hollywood Reporter.
Diep’s other works include popular teen TV dramas “Chit va Pi” (Chit and Pi) and “Bo Tu 10A8” (The 10A8 Quartet).