First-time writer/director Ash Mayfair’s titular character May doesn’t say a word for the first 11 minutes of this quiet, sensual drama set in 19th-century Vietnam—which is fitting, as she spends the rest of her time onscreen trying to find her voice. The 14-year-old girl has been married off to landowner Hung, and the opening scenes of the beautifully shot film are especially serene as May is welcomed by Hà and Xuân, her husband’s first two wives, who give her sisterly advice about how to endure (and manipulate) the man in bed.
But May quickly learns there’s much more to the family dynamics when she becomes pregnant. Praying to give birth to a son who will cement her standing as a true mistress of the house, she discovers the ties—and troubles—that bind women and girls when their fertility determines their fortunes.
Producer: Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, Ash Mayfair | Editor: Julie Béziau | Cinematographer: Chananun Chotrungroj | Screenwriter: Ash Mayfair
Cast: Le Vu Long, Tran Nu Yen Khe, Mai Thu Huong Maya, Nguyen Phuong Tra My, Nguyen Nhu Quynh