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Crying for Hire

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Crying for Hire

Crying for Hire
(Khoc muon)

by Lan Phuong



Crying for Hire

Director: Lan Phuong

Cinematographer: Sy Bang

Editor: Viet Long

Year: 2008

DVD, Colour, 22 min,
OV Vietnamese with English Subtitles
French Electronic Subtitles

Interantional Premiere

This documentary portrays a professional mourner. Families grief-stricken by the death of a dear close one, hire a mourner in order to exorcise their sorrow. In fact, it consists more in reciting funeral chants with a group of musicians than simply cry. According to the deceased’s family status, the funeral canticles have different contents. Psalms are not chanted the same way if it is for a father, a mother, a son, a daughter or a grand-parent…. To be a mourner needs to be leant, and taught. Thus our mourner also teaches the art of weeping to her daughters and nieces; altogether nine women in her family work as mourners, a profession which requires a regular training with a group of musicians.


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