L’Amant (The Lover)

In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.
Year Released
Running Time
115 Minutes
1 vote


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Great Story with subplots and amazing scenery

Field of Interest/Specialty: english as a second language
Posted On: 05/22/2017

This second video is a good pairing with my first choice of Indochine. The film is set in Saigon about 1929. The plot is suggested in the title, but there is so much more to this film! The major characters are a poor French girl of 15/17 years who meets a very wealthy Chinese playboy (age about 35) on a ferry carrying both to Saigon where SHE attends a French boarding school. The rich Chinese man is intrigued by the unique girl leaning against the railing of the ferry. HE attempts lame approaches, finally offering a ride to her school. SHE is curious about men and sex so quickly things progress to a torrid affair where each understands this relationship will go nowhere. SHE will soon depart for France and HE will participate in an arranged marriage, uniting two rich Chinese families. The more reveals insights into the different social classes of that time in Vietnam, how ordinary people lived, how rich people lived, how prejudice existed among the remaining French about the 'slit eyed people', how the Chinese referred to the French as white people. Ultimately she becomes a successful novelist which she long dreamed of, and he remains in love with her per a phone call to her. HE professes his eternal undying love to which SHE questions whether she might have been in love at that long ago time.
Not only is this film a great story with subplots, and amazing scenery, it is a film well acted! Although this film has a famous French director of notable films, this particular film won no awards other than commendations. That is not to say it is a second rate film. It is an amazing video to watch for the setting and its social, cultural commentary. The title may be off putting but I recommend this as an Adult film to watch for the scenery of Vietnam as well as the clues about the social stratification of society in that era in that country. Although I have never formally studied Vietnam, this film expanded my understanding of Vietnam and enhanced my perception of this Southeastern country.