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INSIDE THE YELLOW COCOON SHELL Trailer: Phạm Thiên Ân’s Enrapturing Debut Explores Existence, Faith, & Memory

One of the most breathtaking debuts to come out of this year is writer-director Phạm Thiên Ân’s Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell. An expressive, meditative tale, it follows a young man (Le Phong Vu) who returns home to the Vietnamese countryside to care for his recently orphaned nephew (Nguyen Thinh). While searching for his older brother, he finds himself haunted by memories and questioning his existence. It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival where Thiên Ân took home the Camera d’Or for Best First Feature. It also screened at both TIFF and NYFF to very mesmerized arthouse audiences. Kino Lorber has released the official U.S. trailer ahead of its theatrical rollout in January.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In this entrancing debut from writer/director Phạm Thiên Ân, the sudden death of his sister-in-law brings unexpected responsibilities to Thien (Le Phong Vu), who is reluctantly tasked with bringing his five-year-old nephew Dao to their countryside hometown. On the road, Thien is drawn into a search for his long-missing older brother, haunted and spurred forward by a series of sublime dreams that reignite suppressed memories, forbidden desires, and specters of his own youth. What began as a journey home becomes a pilgrimage marked by visual splendor and mystical overtones, a quest for understanding and certainty in a Vietnam that seems unable to provide any clear answers. As Thien battles with his own existential question of what is worth living for, Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell interrogates the persistence and complexity of faith, not only in the spiritual but in the delicate beauty of earthly existence.

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell opens at NYC’s Film at Lincoln Center on January 19 before expanding nationwide. See the trailer and poster below.

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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