Wednesday, 05/12/2018 10:44

Documentary film on assassinated cải lương guru released on YouTube

Late Meritorious Artist and cai luong star Thanh Nga. Her career is featured in the documentary film 40 Nam Tuong Nho Co Nghe Si Tai Danh, NSUT-Nu Hoang San Khau-Anh Hau Chau A Thanh Nga (40 years in memory of late Meritorious Artist-Queen of Theatre Thanh Nga), which has been released on YouTube to commemorate the artist 40 years after her death. (Photo courtesy of the publisher)
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY— A documentary film on the late theatre actress Thanh Nga, a guru of cai luong (reformed opera), has been released on YouTube to pay tribute to the artist 40 years after her death.

The film 40 Nam Tuong Nho Co Nghe Si Tai Danh, NSUT-Nu Hoang San Khau - Anh Hau Chau A Thanh Nga (40 years in memory of Meritorious Artist and Queen of Theatre Thanh Nga), written and directed by Le Quang Thanh Tam, features the career of Thanh Nga, one of the region’s pioneering performers between the 1950s and 70s.

The work highlights her devotion for cai luong and her important role in developing the southern traditional theatre.   

The film helps viewers, particularly youth, learn more about cai luong and the art’s developments in Vietnamese theatre.

Born in 1942 in a traditional family in  Tay Ninh Province, Nga (real name Juliette Nguyen Thi Nga) began her career when she was a child.

She learned the art from her parents, Nam Nghia and Nguyen Thi Tho, owners of Thanh Minh-Thanh Nga Troupe, one of the region’s leading cai luong troupes. 

She became a bright star after playing a leading role in Nguoi Vo Khong Bao Gio Cuoi (Unmarried Wife ) staged by Thanh Minh-Thanh Nga.

For her performance in the play, she won the Golden Medal for Best Theatre Actress at the Thanh Tam Awards (now Tran Huu Trang Awards presented by the HCM City Theatre Association) in 1958. 

She performed leading roles in several famous plays, working with People’s Artist Phung Ha, Thanh Duoc and Huu Phuoc, all gurus of cai luong.        

Her voice and dance skills left a strong impression on audiences.

In 1971, she became involved in films. She played in prize-winning films directed by talented artists such as Le Dan and Le Hoang Hoa.

She received the Best Film Actress at the Asian Film Festival in 1973 in Taiwan.

Nga performed in more than 50 plays, including famous historical works Thai Hau Duong Van Nga (Queen Mother Duong Van Nga) and Tieng Trong Me Linh (The Sounds of Me Linh Drum).      

She was assassinated in 1978 after her show in HCM City.

She was posthumously honoured as a Meritorious Artist by the Government in 1984.

A street in District 6 was named after her.

“Thanh Nga was a star when I was at school. She was my idol. Her art inspired me to devote my life to cai luong,” said People’s Artist Bach Tuyet, who has spent more than 60 years on the stage.  

The film, 40 Nam Tuong Nho Co Nghe Si Tai Danh Thanh Nga, describes the 100-year period of traditional theatre in the south through the career of Thanh Nga. —VNS


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