Social Evil Sells

The hottest movie in vietnam has a surprise twist: it's government propaganda. When Bar Girls was released in February, ticket lines went around the block, and eager filmgoers paid triple price to scalpers. The morality play about prostitution has taken in $1 million to become Vietnam's highest-grossing film ever, smashing records set by Korean and Hollywood imports. Not bad for a cadre-dominated movie industry in which the People's Army runs the major studio and one of last year's most acclaimed films is titled Hai Binh Builds a Hydropower Plant.

But Bar Girls, produced by Ho Chi Minh City's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!