Reflecting on the Film Screening and Cultural Exchange Journey “Moonrise Over the Southern Land”

After more than a month of festivities, the film screening and cultural exchange series “Moonrise Over the Southern Land” concluded on the evening of October 13, 2022. This event, a collaboration between Cultura Fish and Bách Thảo Collective, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the television film “Southern Land.” The program included film screenings (two episodes per session) and workshops on Southern Vietnamese performance arts used in the film such as folk songs, lyrical music, traditional opera, and poetry.

The final screening on October 13, 2023, was especially memorable with audiences taking photos with the organizers and the artists of the traditional Southern song performances.

Join the organizers as we look back on this memorable six-session journey:

First Session (September 8, 2022)

The inaugural event of the film screening and cultural exchange series welcomed many young viewers who had never before seen “Southern Land,” as well as audience members who had watched it at least three times. The emotional journey of the characters deeply moved the audience. The session also featured a lively exchange about the poetry of Vân Tiên, led by artists Sáu Hưng and Song Oanh, where everyone joined in singing the poetic lines, boosting the organizers’ motivation to create more Southern-themed events.

Second Session (September 15, 2022)

Actress Mai Thanh Dung, who played the role of Mrs. Tư Ù, shared her heartfelt experiences, creating a vibrant and intimate atmosphere. The audience gained insight into the film’s production and enjoyed traditional Southern songs such as response songs and love boat songs, with the artists even performing newly written folk songs on the spot.

Third Session (September 22, 2022)

The third night resonated with the sound of traditional drums and featured a larger audience, including the film’s director Quách Mạnh Kha, who shared detailed stories from the film’s production.

Fourth Session (September 29, 2022)

Despite heavy rain, many attended to enjoy two film episodes and five versions of traditional Vọng cổ music, making it the longest interaction session of the series.

Fifth Session (October 6, 2022)

An unexpectedly warm night filled with flowers and traditional music created a magical setting for the viewing and interaction. The unexpected attendance of Director Nguyễn Vinh Sơn added to the excitement, deepening the audience’s appreciation for the film and its depiction of Southern Vietnam.

Final Session (October 13, 2022)

The last screening was termed a “special event” as it featured just one episode followed by a workshop exploring the art of traditional Southern singing, culminating in a vibrant spring-like atmosphere, despite the rainy season, with songs celebrating local life and traditions.

The grand finale involved the audience and artists singing together to the nostalgic tunes of “Southern Land Song,” a spontaneous and moving conclusion to the series.

Cultura Fish extends heartfelt thanks to Lythi Auction for sponsoring the venue and resources and to Bách Thảo Collective for discovering and collaborating on this unique cultural project. Additional thanks go to Hoàng Việt Trí for partially sponsoring the event costs, and to local media for covering the event.

Bách Thảo Collective

Located at the Vietnam History Museum, serves as a hub connecting culture and the arts in Ho Chi Minh City, supporting art projects across ASEAN with the mission to further disseminate local Vietnamese cultural values.

Hiếu Văn Ngư – Cultura Fish – 好文魚

Established in 2020, Hiếu Văn Ngư – Cultura Fish is a project designed to evoke the beauty of Vietnamese art among young audiences through media activities, workshops, introductory appreciation courses, and applied products. Currently, Hiếu Văn Ngư focuses on archiving and promoting Southern Vietnamese performance arts such as traditional opera, folk songs (lullabies, work songs, lyrical music) on platforms like websites, Facebook, as well as through international partnerships.