Bride of Silence
a film by Doan Minh Phuong and Doan Thanh Nghia, 2005
35mm, 114 minutes
It happens in northern Vietnam two hundred years ago.
When Tuy is dying, he tells his 17-year-old adoptive son Hien about his mother.
Ly An, a young woman in a pottery village, falls in love and gets pregnant, unmarried. In keeping with their rules, the villagers shall shave her head and set her baby adrift the river to the mercy of their god. During the punishment process, before they push the basket with the baby in it from the river bank, a rain falls and immediately grows into a thunder storm which kills many villagers and robs the surviving ones of their sense of right and wrong
Men of the village gather after the storm to decide over Ly An’s fate, their heart confused, in mourning and in wrath.
Tuy dies before he can finish the story about Ly An. Hien leaves his home seeking to hear the rest.
Each of his mother’s last lovers gives the son a different sad ending to her story. Yet the truth rests untold.
In the end Hien learns from a monk of what really happens: three wandering carpenters rescue the baby during the storm, later they free the mother. They escape to the wilderness where they live happily together. Ly An belongs to each of the three men each night.
But their paradise does not last. Ly An has to go.