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Cu Li Never Cries

Pham Ngoc Lan



Cu Li Never Cries recounts the stifling summer days that stir up a whirlwind of events and emotions in the life of LADY M, a blue collar retiree in Hanoi, Vietnam who once worked in East Germany as a labor export worker. Upon hearing news that her estranged German husband of whom she has not seen for 20 years has died, Lady M returns to Berlin where she inherits two peculiar items: a cremation urn with her husband’s ashes and his pygmy slow loris pet (CU LI). Both to be brought back to Vietnam as per her husband’s wishes.Lady M's niece, VÂN is having a rushed marriage after getting knocked up by her country boyfriend who originally planned to go abroad in a labor export program. LADY M strongly disapproves of the wedding and the baby, not only because she doesn’t want her niece to bring shame to the family, but also out of fear that Vân will repeat the same mistakes and failures of marriage like she once did. Lady M goes to the hydroelectric power plant where she first met her German husband, and where she scatters his ashes. She also decides to shave the Cu Li’s fur when it catches a terrible skin disease.Vân’s bizarre wedding takes place at night in the tropical forest. Vân, heavily pregnant, is exhausted by the wedding celebrations. Lady M’s sudden visit with Cu Li eases Vân’s anxiety. Nobody realizes a fire spreading and swallowing up the wedding stage as Lady M starts moving between fantasy, reality and the unfulfilled dreams of her youth.


CHF 45'000 for production fiction

Festivals and Awards

Berlinale 2024 - Panorama

World Sales

Distribution Switzerland

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