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Kim Nguyen during the shooting of Two Lovers and a Bear (Philippe Bosse)

Interview with Canadian director Kim Nguyen

Audrey Bourget
Published on
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 12:28
File size
3.8 MB
8 min 24 sec

Kim Nguyen has been working on his latest film for several years, starting well before his previous feature, War Witch, which was nominated for an Oscar. He first wrote a very pragmatic scenario for Two Lovers and a Bear, but then completely changed direction to create a film much wilder and stranger.

Two Lovers and a Bear was applauded for several minutes at the Director’s Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened last week. Eased by this warm welcome, Kim Nguyen talked to us about his film: “It’s the story of two lovers, Roman and Lucy, lost souls looking to find their path. They live in a village at the end of the world. We could almost believe that we are on a lunar base. A mix of infinite white and houses that look like space stations on metal stilts.”

Tatiana Maslany, whom we know thanks to TV series Orphan Black, plays Lucy, and Dane Dehaan, a shooting star who shined  in The Place Beyond the Pines, plays Roman.

Icy shooting

Two Lovers and a Bear was shot in the Canadian Great North, where the temperature can go down to minus forty degrees Celsius. “From the first day, we had to be conscious of the challenge of the extreme cold. It’s not just the cold, it’s the extreme cold,” the director explains.

The cold was so intense that he recalls the set photographer and the camera assistants losing bits of skin that stuck to their cameras when they removed their gloves.

But the singular environment also allowed Kim Nguyen to live one of the “anthology moments” of his career as a filmmaker: seeing his whole team on thirty snowmobiles that looked like they were out of Mad Max, driving towards the ice field. “That moment was unbelievable,” he remembers.

Two Lovers and a Bear in Australia?

The director can’t confirm yet if Two Lovers and a Bear will be screened in Australia, but his meetings in Cannes seem promising. Several distributors from around the world are interested in the film and we should know in the next few weeks if we’ll get to see it down under.

To listen to the whole interview with Kim Nguyen (in French), go to the top of the page.