Vietnamese young director’s film honored at Berlinale 2021

The judging board referred to "Taste" - a film made by a young Vietnamese director as "dazzling and oblique images, living pictures linked to narratives available to enchantment".


Le Bao’s “Taste” (Photo: E&W)

On March 5, the jury of the 71st Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) announced that it had unanimously given the highest number of votes of the Golden Bear award for the film “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” by the Romanian director Radu Jude. Meanwhile, “Taste” by Vietnamese director Le Bao also excelled at winning the prestigious award.

According to the Vietnam News Agency in Berlin, all 6 members of the Berlinale jury, who were the Golden Bear award winners at previous film festivals, all appreciated the 35-year-old director, Radu Jude’s 106-minute color film. Radu Jude also won the Silver Bear Award for Best Director at Berlinale in 2015.

The award-winning film in Berlinale this year tells the story of a viral video showing a couple having sex while wearing a mask, but the viewers can still recognize that the woman works as a teacher, a profession that needs pedagogy.

Photo: Vietnam Plus

The debate about the innocence, the saintly, the false as well as the conspiracy theories that break out in society is raised to the social court and finally leading to an open ending when the debates are discussed at school.

The jury said that the film has the rare and essential elements of a long-lived work of art. The film was built in an artistic, flowery, intelligent, and lively way. Each video captures the content and nature, mind and body, values, and the nakedness of human existence. With just a kind of camera movement, the film questioned the present moment by rocking social and cinematic conventions.

Le Bao’s “Taste” won Special Jury Award this year. The jury said: “It is so good when we are totally surprised by dazzling and oblique images, living pictures linked to narratives available to enchantment. Especially realizing that such inspiration comes in first work and, something that adds even more expectation when it emerges from cinematography as unexpected as that of Vietnam. Yes, Le Bao made his debut with Taste (the original is Vị ). He was born only in 1990, in the dilapidated suburbs by the river, in Ho Chi Minh.”

“More than trying to explain or interpret, you want to live a film like Taste. At least, it offers us a wide field of reasoning, but at the same time the incredible freedom of meanings and codes, or to imagine new forms of expression. Time will tell who Bao really is: whether a skilled impersonator or a new voice in Asian cinema.”

“Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn”. (Photo: Screen Daily)

Berlin 2021 winners


Golden Bear for Best Film – Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn, Radu Jude

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize – Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy, Ryusuke Hamaguchi

The Silver Bear Jury Prize – Mr. Bachmann And His Class, Maria Speth

Silver Bear for Best Director – Dénes Nagy, Natural Light

Silver Bear for Best Performance – Maren Eggert, I’m Your Man

Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance – Lilla Kizlinger, Forest – I See You Everywhere

Silver Bear for Best Screenplay – Hong Sangsoo, Introduction

Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution – Yibrán Asuad for editing A Cop Movie


Best Film – We, Alice Diop

Special Jury Award – Taste, Le Bao

Best Director – (joint winners): Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher, The Girl And The Spider and Denis Côté, Social Hygiene

Special mention – Rock Bottom Riser, Fern Silva