Saturday , December 10 2022

Movie production company apologizes to Trinh Cong Son’s Japanese muse


The producer of “Em and Trinh”, a biopic on Trinh Cong Son (1939-2001), apologized to Michiko Yoshii on Friday for inappropriately depicting her private life.

Quynh Ha, a representative of Galaxy Play, which released the movie in June, stated that while developing the script, the producer constantly called Yoshii’s family to express interest in hearing her side of the story but couldn’t reach her.

“We misunderstood that silence for acceptance, so we produced the film without Professor Michiko Yoshii’s written consent,” the production spokesperson explained.

“We are sorry for hurting her and her family, even though we didn’t mean to. We sincerely apologize and hope to receive the professor’s compassion, sympathy, and forgiveness.”

The production unit stated that it will include an apology statement in the film’s subsequent release.

The company said it created “Em Va Trinh” (Trinh and I) out of the desire to “relive the legend” of Trinh Cong Son, arguably Vietnam’s greatest ever musician.

Materials for crafting the narrative and organizing the film’s production are obtained directly from the musician’s family by the screenwriters, directors, and crew, while some information has been made public in the media and newspapers.

The production company said it decided to include information about Yoshii since she studied Son’s music and has a special relationship with the musician.

“However, following Yoshii’s input, we acknowledged our mistake and promise not to let similar regrettable scenarios reoccur,” it stated.

Earlier this month, Yoshii asked Galaxy Play to publicly express regret for divulging her private life to the public without her consent. She also wanted the apology included in the film every time it is screened and the producer to make a pledge not to do something similar again.

“Em Va Trinh” has been the biggest Vietnamese hit this year with box office collections of more than VND100 billion ($4.2 million).

One of the primary plot developments of the film is the love story between Son and Yoshii.

She is a university student in Paris, France, in the late 1980s when she falls in love with Vietnamese culture, language and people, notably Son’s music.

Despite having a master’s degree in Japanese culture, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Trinh Cong Son’s anti-war music.

She travels to Vietnam to meet a writer she admires and Son’s music and master thesis bridge their relationship.

Yoshii successfully defended her thesis on the influence of Trinh Cong Son’s anti-war music in wartime Vietnamese society in Paris in 1991, with examiners at the University of Paris VII grading it as excellent.

However, the film has sparked a lot of debate and received mixed reviews.

Some viewers have said the portrayal of the musician in the film is different from what they understood from reading about him.

Others said Son’s connection with Yoshii was wrongly depicted, changing him into a shallow person while in love.

Yoshii is currently a professor at Mie University’s Center for International Education and Research in Japan.

She frequently visits Vietnam and Son’s grave to burn incense in his memory.

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