Writer-director Ash Mayfair’s evocative debut brings to life both the beauty and oppression of family life in 19th century Vietnam.
Fourteen-year-old May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My in her first-ever acting role) arrives at a silk farm in 19th century rural Vietnam to begin her new life. As the third wife of a wealthy landowner, May must navigate new relationships with her husband and his two established wives, discovering in the process that no matter her efforts to achieve status within the family, love and freedom will not come easily.
Vietnam-born and -raised Mayfair penned the screenplay from stories passed down through generations of her family, and further honed her story through a host of workshops including Spike Lee’s Production Fund. Lush cinematography and finely detailed production design combine to weave The Third Wife into a “quietly devastating tapestry” (Screen Daily) of female agency in Vietnam’s not-too-distant past.