In the movie, Lady M., a retired blue-collar worker in Vietnam, returns to Berlin where she discovers that her German husband has passed away. What he left behind is an urn with his ashes and Cu li.

Upon returning to Vietnam, Lady M. realizes that her pregnant niece, Van, is rushing into marriage, which makes her worry that Van will make the same mistakes in life that she did.

Lady M. then embarks on a journey to revisit her memories, triggering many historical events in Vietnam.

“Cu li never cries” is one of the 31 films from 17 countries that will compete in the Panorama category at the Berlinale.

This is the fourth time that Vietnam’s film industry has competed in this prestigious festival. Additionally, it is the third film directed by Pham Ngoc Lan to participate in the Berlin Film Festival, following his films “Blessed Land” in 2019 and “Another City” in 2016.

Pham Ngoc Lan, 38, graduated from the Hanoi University of Architecture but later pursued his passion for independent filmmaking.

His debut film, “The Story of Ones,” released in 2011, was screened at various film festivals and art museums, including the New Cinema and Contemporary Art – Rencontres Internationales in France, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Japan.

Founded in 1951 and originally held in June, Berlinale has been taking place every February since 1978. It is one of Europe’s “Big Three” film festivals, alongside the Venice Film Festival in Italy and the Cannes Film Festival in France. Berlinale is also one of the “Big Five,” the most prestigious film festivals in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.