For much of the 20th century, Cải lương was the pre-eminent form of entertainment in Southern Vietnam with regional versions across the North. Combining music, song, theatre and performance, Cải lương tells stories of history, legend, comedy, social and personal experiences. Weaving together many traditions, it is a unique cultural form which Cải lương master Năm Châu once described as being both “beautiful and real”. 

An oral history of Cải lương captures the memories and reminiscences of Cải Lương art offered to two British Council oral history researchers, Hugo Frey and Suzanne Joinson (Chichester University, UK) with the advisory support from renowned Cải lương artists and researchers Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc and Nguyễn Hồng Dung.

Here we present a collective memory of Cải lương in Vietnam through the sharing of artists of all generations in the documentary film -  BEAUTIFUL AND REAL: AN ORAL HISTORY OF CAI LUONG