Brave and committed Trinh flees from the countryside to Saigon, where she soldiers on the boredom and isolation of a migrant worker's life. Yet, jealousy from her also-struggling coworkers soon jeopardises her chances to getting ahead.
The Girl from Dak Lak is a Vietnamese social drama to be filmed with a minimal, naturalist and realistic visual approach. A handheld camera observes one character throughout the whole movie: Trinh.
While Trinh and the rest of the characters use the entire location moving around, the camera follows her, even if it has to turn 360°. The off-screen becomes significant.
One camera, one lens and one shot per scene.
Trinh arrives in Saigon and finds a job at a humble eatery, where she is to work and live with two other struggling small-town girls, Vi and Anh.
Trinh keeps things to herself, commits to the chores, and adapts to the crushing boredom of life. However, her good will only invokes hostility and jealousy from Vi.
When heavy storms bring floods to the restaurant Vi and Anh join forces and convince the owner that the flooding is Trinh’s fault. Trinh is fired.
A mutual friend of the girls offers Trinh shelter with his sister and grandfather. Here everything seems to be working well. But Vi’s rumors arrive to the house and she is kicked out again.
Trinh runs to the restaurant to finally confront Vi and clean her name, just to find out that Vi has recently come back to her town to look after her child. Without a job and a roof, Trinh leaves the restaurant and walks into the night of an unforgiving city.
Moved by the intention to find real people, the cast will be made up with non-professional actors who share similar lifestyles with those of the characters they play.
The team of the film strongly believes this is the best approach to preserve the authenticity of this truthful story.
Young Media is a professional media production and equipment rental company. Since 2010, Young Media has worked with independent filmmakers producing short films and teasers for international film festival approach. These include Le Bao’s Taste (currently in production) and Phan Dang Di’s short Rain for the Asian Film Archive Fragments Project.
Young Media has also helped and co-invested in the local market Ve que an Tet, with Veronica Ngo’s Studio 68 feature film Summer in closed eyes, a romantic drama co-produced between Vietnam and Japan.
The Girl from Dak Lak will be Young Media’s first feature production.