By Othenllo KHANH

VIETNAM MEDIA CORP. / BHD CO, LTD - as SALES All rights, World

Drama - Completed 2006

    • Year of production
    • 2006
    • Genres
    • Drama, Romance
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Othenllo KHANH
    • Producer(s)
    • Doug DALES
    • Synopsis
    • Story Source
      “Saigon Eclipse” takes place in present day Ho Chi Minh City. It is inspired by the characters and themes of Nguyen Du’s 19th century masterpiece “The Story of Kieu”, a work considered to be the most important epic poem written in Vietnamese. This ancient story relates the destiny of a young, beautiful and talented Vietnamese woman who sacrifices herself for her family.
      This epic poem chronicles the fate of Kieu, a beautiful young girl, who soon after her secret engagement, returns home to find her father is about to be imprisoned on trumped up charges. Kieu offers herself in payment for her father’s debt without fully understanding the ramifications of the decision. A stunning and tragic story of loyalty and the perils of beauty, it was written as an allegory for Nguyen Du’s beautiful country Vietnam, which has often been possessed and abused by others.
      Kieu, a famous Vietnamese actress, is making an action film in today’s vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. She falls in love with the film’s Vietnamese/American director, Kim, who has returned to the country to be a part of its growing film culture.
      Kieu’s uncle Henry and her mother Ba Tu are producing the film. They also own a company called “Happy Brides,” a marriage bureau catering to a foreign clientele. The stunt coordinator of the film, Trong Hai, an undercover cop, is investigating “Happy Brides,” as it is suspected of illegally selling poor peasant girls into bondage.
      On the day Kim pledges his love and loyalty to Kieu, he makes the human error of getting drunk and ending up in bed with Vanessa, an French/Vietnamese who is Kieu’s stunt double.
      That night Kieu learns her uncle Henry is a criminal and is hopelessly in debt to a powerful Chinese Tong leader, Chen. She is also told her mother is actually owned by Henry who won her in a poker game and that her father committed suicide over the incident.
      Chen demands Kieu’s mother as payment for Henry’s debts. Kieu, in spite of her love for Kim, offers herself in payment of the debt. Her offer is accepted.
      Henry and Ba Tu’s money has run out, and production of the movie is shut down. Kim is sure that everything has gone bad because of his fling with Vanessa.
      Chen uses Kieu as a jewel worth exploiting and begins selling her favours to his wealthy clients. Tricked and abused, Kieu accepts her fate knowing that her life and true love have been forfeited.
      Trong Hai senses there has been a rift in the criminal organization. They go to a “get to know you,” party thrown by the marriage bureau. A fight erupts when Kim tries to see Kieu who is in a pavilion guarded by the Chinese Tong. Ba Tu escapes and Henry is beaten up and disappears. The police come and Vanessa ends up in jail for starting the fight.
      The next night, Kim goes to Kieu’s family compound and finds it guarded by the Chinese Tong. He shinnies up a tree to see what is going on inside the high walls. Henry’s body is being carried to a waiting speedboat. Kieu, and the missing Ba Tu, are forced into the boat as well. Kim follows in a boat he steals from a neighbouring dock. He alerts Trong Hai and the police.
      The speedboat ends up at the docks where the thugs are loading young women and children onto Chen’s yacht. Kim, fights to keep the boat from leaving. Kieu knocks Chen down and gets her mother off the boat. Enraged, Chen, using the concealed pistol in his cane, goes to shoot Kieu. Ba Tu, sees this, and protecting her daughter, is fatally shot. The police arrive led by Trong Hai and with Vanessa they defeat the Chinese Tong and arresting the gang.
      Kim, consoles Kieu, and they watch a new day brightening the skies over Saigon.