Not many films about Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine has subtle variations by regions and the fresh ingredients yet just a few of films about Vietnamese cuisine.

A scene in the film Vua banh mi ( King of Vietnamese bread) (Photo: SGGP)

A scene in the film Vua banh mi ( King of Vietnamese bread) (Photo: SGGP)

Traditional cuisine is passed down from one generation to the next. It also operates as an expression of cultural identity. It is pitiable that there have been not many movies and TV shows about culinary cultures and food, said film director Dung Nghe, who has been successful in making television film Ngu hoi tan hy about fish sausage craft.
It can count the number of movies about Vietnamese cuisine on the fingers of one hand amongst the hundreds of television films and films released in theaters. Lately, a film about Banh mi ( Vietnamese bread) directed by Nguyen Phuong Dien and Ong mau Banh mi ( Vietnamese bread made by Mr. Mau) of director Minh Mum.
It is back in time that audiences have been impresses by some films including Mui ngo gai (Scent of Coriander) about Pho; action comedy "Kungfu Pho" (Kung Fu Pho).
In 2019, director Phan Dang Di made film Chang dang ca, nang an hoa ( He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower) - a part of the HBO Asia's eight-part food anthology series "Food Lore", telling stories related to the cuisine culture of eight Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
In other films, cuisine was interspersed in some movies such as Co Tham ve lang (Ms. Tham return her village); Gao nep gao te ( Vuong’s family) - a romantic and psychological show .
Director Dung Nghe analyzed that film producers have not made interesting movies relating to specific Vietnamese cuisine of each region in the country; therefore, many people have not been aware of essence of traditional foods which forefathers have passed down.
Lately, BHD producers have announced to select actors and actress for the film Can bep tinh yeu about friendship, love and funny situation interspersed with cuisine cultures in the world especially of Vietnamese cuisine.
Film producers said that making film about cuisine is difficult. According to director Phuong Dien, cameramen must choose position to have good scene angles to showcase essence of the food and more importantly, cultures of different regions through foods.
Accordingly, before performing in the film Vua banh mi ( King of Banh mi), actors had to learn how to make Vietnamese bread in over one week to master basic steps in making the food. In the meantime, during making the film Bep hat (Singing kitchen), chef Ngo Thanh Hoa was invited as a consultant to help actors and actresses.
Creative director of Gai gia lam chieu (Old girls have a lot of tricks) Ha Do said, the feasts and the foods in the film were cooked by cuisine artisans in the Central Province of Thua Thien – Hue.
Film director Namcito who made the film Gai gia lam chieu (Old girls have a lot of tricks part 3) revealed expenditure is one of barriers to have good angles for a feasts or a food in a film for a television whereas just a few producers agreed to risk VND5 billion (US$215,472) on a film about Vietnamese food.

By Van Tuan - Translated by Dan Thuy

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