Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell: Exploring the Depths of Faith and Loss

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell Review

Welcome to our review of “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” a contemplative drama directed by Pham Thien An. In this film, An skillfully blurs the line between surrealism and realism, taking us on a journey of faith and loss in the wake of a tragedy. Join us as we delve into the captivating narrative and explore the themes of purpose, spirituality, and the complexities of life.

A Subdued Search for Purpose

The story revolves around Thien (played by Le Phong Vu), a young man from Saigon who works as a wedding videographer. After a tragic motorbike accident claims the life of his sister-in-law, Thien finds himself responsible for his nephew Dao (Nguyen Thinh).

He embarks on a journey to his rural hometown for the funeral and to bring Dao to their relatives in the countryside. However, this journey becomes much more than a physical quest to find his estranged brother.

Blurring the Lines: Reality and Fantasy

As Thien travels, he experiences an increase in vivid dreams, blurring the line between reality and fantasy. This narrative technique adds a layer of intrigue and perplexity to the film, inviting us to question the nature of our own experiences and the boundaries between the conscious and subconscious mind.

The Visual Splendor of Rural Vietnam

An’s direction, along with Dinh Duy Hung’s cinematography, beautifully captures the natural beauty of rural Vietnam. Through carefully framed shots, we are immersed in the lush greenery, foggy skies, and stunning landscapes that serve as a backdrop for Thien’s journey.

The attention to detail and the exquisite cinematography enhance the ethereal quality of the film, allowing us to feel the serene ambiance of the Vietnamese countryside.

Moments of Stillness and Contemplation

“Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” is a slow cinema masterpiece that encourages viewers to reflect and contemplate. The deliberate pacing, coupled with long, uninterrupted shots, creates a sense of stillness that mirrors Thien’s internal journey. As we accompany him on his motorbike rides and listen to stories from locals, we are invited to fill the gaps with our thoughts and interpretations, making the film a deeply personal and immersive experience.

Faith and Symbolism

Religious imagery and symbolism play a significant role in the narrative. Thien encounters Jesus on the cross multiple times throughout the film, whether it be on the walls, funeral decor, or hidden among the reeds of a river.

Additionally, Thien’s old crush, Thao (Nguyen Thi Truc Quynh), becomes a nun and teacher in their hometown, further highlighting the presence of faith in his journey. These subtle yet powerful symbols contribute to the overall contemplative atmosphere of the film.

Finding Meaning in Life’s Complexities

As Thien navigates the Vietnamese countryside, the film delves into the complexities of death, faith, and the search for purpose. The juxtaposition of Thien’s city life, filled with work and friends, with the solitude of his spiritual journey creates a stark contrast.

“Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” doesn’t offer easy answers or neatly tie up its themes. Instead, it invites us to find our own conclusions and explore our own quest for spiritual fulfillment.


Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” is a visually stunning and thought-provoking film that skillfully explores the depths of faith and loss. An’s direction, along with the exceptional performances of the cast, draws us into Thien’s journey and invites us to contemplate life’s mysteries. This contemplative drama is a must-watch for those seeking a film that challenges and engages on a spiritual level.


Is “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” based on a true story?
No, the film is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction that explores themes of faith and loss.

Are there any English subtitles available for the film?
Yes, English subtitles are available for international audiences to fully enjoy and understand the film.