Madam Phung's Last Journey (2014)

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"I saw beautiful fags praying, and felt like running away," explains Madame Phung of her decision to abandon life as a monk and take to the road. This frank, alluring documentary follows the madam's itinerant troupe of gender-bending performers as they bring their homemade fair to the remote southern and central regions of Vietnam. In a behind-the-scenes look at life in a rarely-seen community, the group struggles to earn a living with their lottery, mini train ride, merry-go-round and powers of seduction in the face of poverty, hostility and violence. (C) Icarus

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Critic Reviews for Madam Phung's Last Journey

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

This is a lively film but also a sad one.

Nov 12, 2015 | Full Review…

Nguyen Thi Tham, who wrote, directed and shot the film, followed Madam Phung for a year as she took her brand of transgender glamour to remote provincial fairgrounds filled with villagers.

Nov 11, 2015 | Full Review…

Tender and low-key ...

Nov 10, 2015 | Full Review…

While the pacing lags and the content leans too heavily on everyday banalities, the conflict between acceptance as performers and rejection as individuals provides an intriguing peek at rural Vietnamese society.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

At times like a very skewed La Strada, this doc about some peripatetic and put-upon carny workers sneaks under your skin.

Nov 11, 2015 | Full Review…

With the invocation of national allegiance as an inherent contradiction, the documentary blooms its larger, allegorical inklings.

Nov 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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