Movies and destinations of culture and tourism
Hardly had we seen Tran Thanh’s movie Bo Gia (‘Old Dad’) when my wife and daughter asked me to go to the cinema to see Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5 (‘Camellia Sisters - Living Like Royalty’). As a movieholic, I agreed to go without hesitation, because I wanted to see what the movie Camellia Sisters would be like as well as to feel the atmosphere at a cinema I once had.
An Dinh Palace: the major setting of most of the scenes in Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5. Photo: Le Quang
An Dinh Palace: the major setting of most of the scenes in Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5. Photo: Le Quang

While people went to Hue Cinestar to see Bo Gia (‘Old Dad’) for the movie’s sake, many of them went to see Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5 (‘Camellia Sisters’) for more reasons. In addition to the attractions of the trailer, of the director being a Hue-born person – Dr. Bao Nhan, and of the cast consisting of famous actresses such as Hong Van and Le Khanh, people went to see the movie Camellia Sisters to enjoy Hue relics and landscapes on the screen.

They were satisfied in deed. Like the previous episodes, Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5 is full of the images of Hue. The luxurious Bach Tra Palace of the Ly sisters, which is the main setting in the film, is the An Dinh Palace by the river An Cuu, the former residence of Emperor Khai Dinh and Emperor Bao Dai.

There are many scenes in the Imperial Citadel, too. Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theater was used as the setting for the auction of royal treasures. Ly Le Ha (played by Le Khanh) made impression with the steps across Thai Hoa Palace yard. Truong Lang is where Ly Linh (played by Kaity Nguyen) had her courageous walk. The Moon Gate is where Ly Linh and Gia Huy (played by Anh Dung) planned to usurp the Queen’s gown.

Apart from the Imperial Citadel, Minh Mang Mausoleum was used for the scenes such as horse-riding and the Ly sisters’ party. The three sisters went to church at Phu Cam Church. The most impressive scene was the acting of Ly Linh in a heavy rain night at Gia Vien Bridge.

Last year, there was a tumultuous reception of Victor Vu’s movie Mat biec (Dreamy eyes). Hue audience had their reasons to welcome the movie as there were many scenes lensed in Thua Thien Hue. After the movie was released, many young people went to Ha Cang village (in Quang Dien District) to check in at the “tree of loneliness”, a feature in the movie. Especially, the crowded café Mat Biec in Bao Vinh ancient town was launched to take advantage of the movie effects.

Different from the “tree of loneliness” and the café Mat Biec coming into existence from the effects of the movie Mat biec, the Imperial Citadel and many other scenes in Gai gia lam chieu 5 have been well-known relics and landmarks of Hue ancient capital. Yet there was an underlying tactful promotion in the movie, which has contributed to attracting more people to these heritage destinations.

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