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1,393 Ratings

The Scent of Green Papaya

Mùi đu đủ xanh - L'odeur de la papaye verte

Directed by Trần Anh Hùng
Vietnam, France, 1993
Drama, Romance
  • Vietnamese
  • English


In 1951 Saigon, 10 year-old Mui enters household service for an affluent, troubled family. As she comes of age, Mui finds her relationship with a pianist she has admired since childhood growing in complexity. Antebellum Vietnam is recreated through a child’s eyes and the deep blush of first love.

Our take

Vietnamese auteur Tran Anh Hung (Norwegian Wood) made one of the most enduring art-house hits of the 90s. Garnering the Camera d’Or at Cannes, a César for Best First Feature, and a Foreign Film Oscar nod, this exquisitely shot family drama makes poignant observations.

The Scent of Green Papaya Directed by Trần Anh Hùng

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1993 | 2 wins including: Award of the Youth (French Film)

Academy Awards

1994 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

BFI London Film Festival

1994 | Winner: Sutherland Trophy

Critics reviews

The concentration on housework in the movie’s first section—a neglected film subject apart from experimental movies like Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman—is refreshing, and Tran’s elliptical handling of narrative and incident, combined with his highly selective uses of sound, shows him to be a talented pupil of Bresson.
March 11, 1994
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