Controversial Vietnamese Film, “The Third Wife”, is Pulled from Theaters

By on August 19, 2019 in Movies, NEWS

Controversial Vietnamese Film, “The Third Wife”, is Pulled from Theaters

The highly acclaimed, yet decidedly controversial Vietnamese film, The Third Wife, has been pulled from theaters in Vietnam. Despite achieving rave reviews at the Golden Horse Film Festival, the movie’s controversial casting of a 12-year-old girl in the role of a 14-year-old girl who marries a wealthy landowner and becomes his third wife shocked the public. In the role, 12-year-old actress Nguyễn Phương Trà My had skin-baring bed scenes with adult male actors.

After premiering on screen for only four days, the film already grossed approximately 1.35 million HKD. Despite its box office and commercial success, it was removed after only four days of screening in Vietnam.

Many viewers were disturbed by the role performed by a 12-year-old and pointed the finger at Nguyễn Phương Trà My’s mother for allowing her daughter to take part in the film. Nguyễn Phương Trà My, who is now 15 years old, expressed her sadness over the situation. “I am a little saddened by this. I am sad for the other actors in the film. In other countries, the audience is lining up to praise us. Our film crew hoped that we could bring this film to the Vietnamese audience. We didn’t care about how much money it was going to bring in, but we just wanted the movie to screen in Vietnam. But now, it has been taken down after less than a week.”

In a recent interview, Nguyễn Phương Trà My’s mother expressed that she faced great pressure when she agreed to let her daughter film the movie. However, she has a different take on the public’s criticism about her decision. “Most of the professional film critics have praised the movie. Only a few have negative reviews about it. Why aren’t people more focused about how my child and I have received the applause of overseas audiences? Why aren’t they concerned about how touched we are about it? What about how happy we feel when we see overseas audiences line up for hours to get autographs? Many assume that my daughter will be unable to grow up healthily and happily because of this movie. Why can’t they believe and trust in our decision?”

Similarly, Nguyễn Phương Trà My’s father is also supportive of his daughter’s performance in The Third Wife. “Have these people considered the feelings of the actors, actresses, and their families? Or perhaps they didn’t think about how their comments may have inadvertently hurt the child’s ego as well as emotional and mental well-being. I only hope that The Third Wife can be publicly screened to allow the audience to not only enjoy the film, but also to consider the artistic value and how movies represent core cultural values for every country, rather than focus on their own menial sensitivities about a young girl acting.”

Source: HK01

This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.

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  • 24 comments to Controversial Vietnamese Film, “The Third Wife”, is Pulled from Theaters

    1. winnie says:

      I havent seen the movie nor do i care to, but my feelings on this matter is very strong. FIRST, the director is using the girl to make a name for herself, very sad. She could have hire someone of legal age for the role, but she insisted on a CHILD, pedophile would love to line up to see this. SECOND, the role of the parents, i can’t believe they are defending their decisions and ‘pimp’ out their child. Sad that $$ blinds them. There is NOTHING artistic about a child in bed with a man. Here in the states, the director and the parents could face some legal actions for producing child porn

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    2. wm2017 says:

      Wow! 12 yo? Unbelievable! The mom must really love the $$$ to allow her to take part in it.

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    3. dreamer says:

      Disturbing! They couldve casted me. Im 25 and people say i look 15 at most

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      • wm2017 replied:

        @dreamer lol…..right, it’s sooo easy to find asians who are adults but still look extremely young.

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    4. jimmyszeto says:

      I hope the comments of the mother are translated correctly. Hahahaha. So the mother is defending the decision to let her child star in the movie by praising the performance. What kind of BS illogical reasoning is that? The parents need to be taken in for questioning. Not sure they are suitable to raise the child…

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    5. kinner says:

      It’s very disappointing to read negative comments from people that have not seen the movie nor done some research on the matter before making uninformed judgements.

      I’m quoting from a previous article “..Trà My’s mother had not agreed to her daughter’s involvement, but Trà My’s fierce insistence changed her mind…… At that moment I hit the table furiously and questioned her, ‘Why don’t you believe that I can do it well…?’ … and not long after agreed to let me act in the movie.”

      Using an underage actress to do ‘adult’ scences such as Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, Hounddog, etc. is not uncommon. Asian are way too conservative and judgemental.

      Watch the movie then decide, please.

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      • potatochip replied:

        @kinner It’s hard to be open minded about depictions of child pornography.

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      • jimmyszeto replied:

        @kinner
        Why do we need to watch the movie before deciding? It’s the whole principle of the idea. We already know the theme of the movie so watching it before deciding whether it is wrong is not is irrelevant. As for the mother..It does not matter if she initially refused to let her child act in the movie because the end result is, the mother authorised her daughter’s involvement in the movie.

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      • winnie replied:

        @kinner So if your 12 yrs old …. hit the table furiously and questioned you, ‘Why can’t I sleep with a grown man’ … and not long after, you agreed? Seriously, she’s 12 … still a child, and as a parent, isn’t it your responsible to protect, not exploit your child? What kind of parents would give in when a child “hit the table furiously” and defy them?

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    6. miyabi says:

      lol, i don’t get the director’s logic to cast such a young girl for this role. 50+ year old men are always cast to play 30+ year olds, but somehow younger females are expected to play roles of older women? she’s really just trying to justify her reasons for casting such a young child. “oh she’s really mature for her age” and “oh she’s really a great actor”

      lol whatever, directors do whatever they want. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    7. terrycrews19 says:

      This is insane, they easily could’ve found an 18 year old baby face.

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    8. applelim says:

      I am glad they have pulled the film out. It is outrageous that the director cast a 12 yr old girl for this role…more even so with the comments from the girl’s parents!!!! $ sign in their eyes obviously.
      They could easily find an adult to cast in this role!

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    9. niangniang says:

      I saw the trailer and from the trailer alone it’s quite disturbing….If a 12 years old is not allows to watch the movie alone what made is acceptable to cast her into it….

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      • yuyu replied:

        @niangniang I watched the trailer too. You are right! It’s disturbing. Her acting may be great but no way a 12 year old is cast in such role. I see the husband, I see paedophile. Maybe the parents are liberal or the girl is aiming for a breakthrough role, maybe it’s art or maybe we can’t stop sick people thinking sick stuff, but this is just too much for me.

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        • niangniang replied:

          @yuyu
          Well, some people will say that Asian (me included) are way too conservative and judgemental BUT I prefer to be labeled conservative and judgemental than supporting that kind of movie. Her parent can decides what is good for her and I also have my right to decide what is good for me and my children which is stay away from this movie….

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    10. dramas4me says:

      I agree with many people here that they could have cast someone 18 who looks younger for this role. I will not watch this movie and to me it’s pornography. The girl lost her innocent and she will never be the same after this. I think these are the reasons that it happened.

      #1. The director wanted controversial, so the movie can be big.
      #2. The parents wanted the $$$$.
      #3. The girl wanted attention – she is young, so I’m not blaming her. It’s the adults that made the wrong decisions.

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    11. rika says:

      “Why aren’t people more focused about how my child and I have received the applause of overseas audiences? Why aren’t they concerned about how touched we are about it? What about how happy we feel when we see overseas audiences line up for hours to get autographs?”
      – Who gives a sh-t about their need for vain recognition?

      “Many assume that my daughter will be unable to grow up healthily and happily because of this movie. Why can’t they believe and trust in our decision?”
      – Because it’s not their f–king daughter the general public is concerned with. It is to prevent giving the general population the idea that it is okay to sexualize an underage girl. It is to protect OTHER children! Such imbeciles!

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    12. vbabe8 says:

      I haven’t seen the film either, here in America. But because of it’s story line, nature of the film, it’s adult-like theme; don’t understand why the director or her parents allowed an underage child no matter if she feels she can do it, take on such a challenge of a movie like this. I would think because Asian community frowns on films of this nature, I wonder how it passed their censor parameters to circulate this movie in their theaters. It’s unfortunate that her first break-out film debut ends up being such a scandal sentiment in value rather than her acting ability. I also feel bad that the actors in the film who also suffer at the hands of harsh criticisms of this controversial film, it was probably their debut too.Parents did not do their wise decision making regarding their daughter’s choice of movie scripts, I’m sure they had to sign their parental authorization on tha contract too to allow their daughter to star in such an adult type themed movie. Yes, they could’ve gotten an older actress at least over the age of 18 to take on that part of “Third Wife”. Asian women have the advantage of looking much younger than their age, they’re lucky that way. I wouldn’t mind watching that movie and get my own take about that movie, judge it for myself rather than others tell me what is valuable or not. Wishing Nygyen good luck in her future film choices as a good actress, be patient, it will come, it just won’t be now. Directors, producers of films they get involved in to be careful, mindful, never mind being greedy, it never really works out most times, I’m sure censorship is still around too. I just wonder about the impact of this film for the innocents at that age as pedophiles or criminals of that nature to continue their hunt for malicious fun on the prowl.

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    13. thundergirl3 says:

      I will be honest, and I haven’t watched the trailer or the movie, so any views stated are from a personal perspective.

      However, first and foremost. Whether it is art, education or technology – it should never compromise the safety of a child. My children continuously challenge the boundaries of what is acceptable, but my role and responsibility is precisely that – to be the parent and to ensure that they grow up in a loving and safe environment.

      I do not agree with the parents’ views and I am unable to understand it, nor can I accept or condone their decision. I would never, ever allow my child or any underaged children to act in any scene that involves sex. They are underage, and it is my responsibility to say ‘no’ and to make that decision whether they like it or not. They can smash as many tables or chairs they like – the answer is still no!

      This movie may address specific issues about Vietnamese culture, but the director did not have to use an underage actor and a child for that matter. To me, this is exploitation, and I am very saddened by this.

      To use a child for art sake is abhorrent. Honestly, we must protect our children, and it appears that nothing is safe or sacred anymore.

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    14. iciel says:

      I wonder if such negative reactions from everyone here is because they’re thinking of sex scenes like in Lust, Caution lol.

      I watched the Third Wife, there is a very short bed scene that was done artistically. The director focused on the facial expression and mostly filmed above the chest area. There was like a 5 second scene where part of her body was seen but her chest was covered by her long hair.

      I feel like “hot scenes” from TVB are more daring than this. And it’s a very small fragment of the film. The media blew this out of proportion. The film is very mellow and slow and if you’re thinking this is a film about fighting in the family between the wives you couldn’t be more wrong. It focused a lot on normal every day life of this Third Wife, when she transitioned from a girl to a woman.

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      • dramas4me replied:

        @iciel

        The point is the girl was only 12 years old when they were filming this movie/for the bed scene.

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      • kinner replied:

        @iciel, thanks for the review.

        Not much more we can debate about these negative comments from people that have not and probably will never see the film.

        To each his own I guess.

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    15. sev2 says:

      child abuse under the guise of creative art.

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    16. funnlim says:

      The mother doesn’t understand does she? The director doesn’t get it. There is a line you don’t cross. This movie crossed that line when they cast an underage girl and included bed scene? Never seen the film so I don’t know how intense are those scene but even a kiss is wrong. Should arrest the director and mother and actor.

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