Hot scenes push Vietnamese romance off HBO screens

By An Nguyen   November 11, 2019 | 06:35 pm PT
Hot scenes push Vietnamese romance off HBO screens
A still from the movie "He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower". Photo by TIFF.
Phan Dang Di’s “He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower” could not premiere on HBO as scheduled because of some uncut footage.

"Chang Dang Ca, Nang An Hoa" (He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower), which was planned to be screened at 10 p.m. on November 10, was replaced by "The Teenage Psychic 2" with a notice that said the substitution was occasioned by "sensitive contents" in the area’s TV schedule.

"There are some scenes that need to be cut, so we could not meet the deadline. It will be screened on November 13 and 14, according to the plan," said Nguyen Thu Hien from, HBO’s representative in Vietnam.

Hien added that HBO's movies are censored by the Vietnam News Agency because TV shows are not evaluated by the National Film Evaluation Council.

Director Phan Dang Di regretted the incident. "I did not know about this so I had prepared to watch it with some of my students and friends. It would have been better if they had finished the editing. I don't think my film has a lot of hot scenes."

"He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower" is 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.

Helmed by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo, "Food Lore" is directed by storytellers including Erik Matti from the Philippines, Phan Dang Di (Vietnam), Billy Christian (Indonesia), Don Aravind (Singapore), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand), Takumi Saitoh (Japan) and Malaysia’s Ho Yuhang.

"He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower" depicts the drama of Ho Chi Minh City-based Thang learning how to make tofu pudding in order to win the heart of Van, a girl he meets at a tofu pudding stall. They fall for each other but have a lot of differences. Thang tries to cook one last dish to have the heart of the woman he loves.

The short film was introduced in the "World Focus" section at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) last month.

Trailer of the movie "He Serves Fish, She Eats Flower".

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