The Scent of Green Papaya

The Scent of Green Papaya
Directed by Tran Anh Hung
Produced by Christophe Rossignon
Written by Tran Anh Hung
Music by Tôn-Thât Tiêt
Cinematography Benoît Delhomme
Edited by Nicole Dedieu
Jean-Pierre Roques
Distributed by Président Films
Release dates
  • June 8, 1993 (1993-06-08)
Running time
104 minutes
Country France
Language Vietnamese
Box office $1,700,992[1]

The Scent of Green Papaya (Vietnamese: Mùi đu đủ xanh, French: L'Odeur de la papaye verte) is a 1993 Vietnamese-language film produced in France by Lazennec Production, directed by Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung, and starring Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Man San Lu, and Thi Loc Truong.[2]

The film won the Caméra d'Or prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival,[3] a César Award for Best Debut at the French annual film award ceremony, and was nominated for the 1993 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[4] The Scent of Green Papaya is Tran Anh Hung's first feature film and stars his wife, Tran Nu Yên-Khê. The film is also the director's first collaboration with Vietnamese composer Tôn-Thât Tiêt who would subsequently write the music for two more films: Cyclo and Vertical Ray of the Sun.

Although set in Vietnam, the film was shot entirely on a soundstage in Boulogne, France.


A young girl, Mùi, becomes a servant for a rich family. Mùi is notably peaceful and curious about the world. The family consists of a frequently absent husband, a wife, an older son, two younger sons, and the husband's mother. When the husband leaves for his fourth and final time, he takes all the household's money. He returns ill and passes away shortly after.

Ten years later, the family falls on hard times. Two sons have left and the wife has taken the place of the grandmother upstairs, rarely seen and tragic. Although the wife now realizes she considered Mùi one of her own, Mùi changes homes. She becomes a servant for a pianist who was a friend of the older son when they were younger. That man is engaged to be married, but he prefers playing the piano to spending time with his fiancée. One night, as the fiancée chatters on, his piano playing becomes more and more stormy as he ignores her. When she leaves she watches through the window. As Mùi comes into the room, his music becomes more harmonious. Later that night, the pianist goes to Mùi's quarters after dark and closes the door behind him. When the fiance learns of this, the engagement is broken. The pianist starts teaching Mùi to read and write as well as comport herself as a lady. A pregnant Mùi reads poetry to her husband, her unborn child, and the wife of her original household.



Awards and nominations

See also


  1. "The Scent of Green Papaya". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  2. "The Scent of Green Papaya". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  3. "Mui Du Du Xanh". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  4. "The 66th Academy Awards (1994) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  5. "Full cast and crew for The Scent of Green Papaya". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  6. "Awards for The Scent of Green Papaya". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
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