The “sensuously elegant” (Screen International) and “gorgeously intimate” (Variety) debut feature, THE THIRD WIFE, follows the story of a young bride in late 19th century Vietnam. This “mesmerizing” (The Film Stage) tale of lost innocence and forbidden love opens exclusively at Luna Leederville from July 18.
Entrapped in a cocoon of traditions, newly-wed 14 year old May must realise that flying free will come at a high price.
In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14-year-old May becomes the third wife of wealthy landowner Hung. Soon she learns that she can only gain status by asserting herself as a woman who can give birth to a male child. May’s hope to change her status turns into a real and tantalizing possibility when she gets pregnant. Faced with forbidden love and its devastating consequences, May finally comes to an understanding of the brutal truth: the options available to her are few and far between.
Winner NETPAC Award - Toronto IFF 2018
TVE - Another Look Award - San Sebastian IFF 2018
Special Mention - Milano FF 2018
Gold Hugo (New Directors Competition) - Chicago IFF 2018
Special Jury Award (Main Feature Film Competition) – Chicago IFF 2018
★★★★1/2 "Mayfair is looking at late 19th century Vietnam through the lens of #MeToo..
Ash Mayfair’s controversial feature is a hauntingly shot and moody affair that envelops the viewer from start to finish, commenting on patriarchal structure of today through the lens of 19th century Vietnam." - THE REEL BITS
★★★★ "The Third Wife is a striking, haunting and astoundingly beautiful directorial debut for Ash Mayfair. The story may delve into familiar territory as the story does venture into tropes and themes that are effective of the time the story is set as well as contemporary times — but Mayfair manages to hit her targets with seemingly effortless ease." - The AUReview
“The Third Wife” presents a tableau of injustice — a male-dominated hierarchy that directly oppresses women and brings collateral misery to some men as well — from a perspective that feels both compassionate and detached. It’s too cool for melodrama and too pretty for politics." - The New York Times
“… a finely detailed and quietly devastating tapestry where rare moments of genuine intimacy are intensely experienced.” - Screen Daily, Toronto Film Festival
“Gently dipping us into the long ago and far away past, Ash Mayfair’s directorial debut brings an intimate immediacy to the re-creation of rural Vietnam in the late 19th century. With “The Third Wife,” new talent Mayfair reclaims just a few of those silvery strands from the neglect of history and weaves them into a film so sensuous we can lose ourselves in it, but so vividly real we might also be able to find ourselves there” - Variety
'Winner of the NETPAC Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Ash Mayfair’s exquisite debut The Third Wife focusses on a teenager in an arranged marriage in 19th century Vietnam who learns quickly about her world’s suffocating patriarchy." - Australian Arts Review