‘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.
The film won the Caméra d’Or prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, 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. ‘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.
Plot: 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.