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'Canh Dong Hoang' Cinematographer Duong Tuan Ba Passes Away at 93

Most famously known for his part in making the film Canh Dong Hoang (The Abandoned Field: Free Fire Zone) in 1979, cinematographer Duong Tuan Ba died of old age at 1:50pm on June 1, 2020, at the age of 93.

Born in 1927 in Kon Tum, Duong Tuan Ba devoted his life to filmmaking. As one of the most famous cameramen of his era, along with other names such as Pham Hoang Nam and Nguyen Khanh Du, he filmed 22 feature films, 45 TV series, and nearly 20 documentaries and cải lương plays in his lifetime.

When Ba was just 15 years old, he volunteered to join the resistance against French colonial rule, supporting them for nine years in Kon Tum. He then joined the National Cinema Center of Saigon, and in 1968, graduated with a degree in camera operations. With this degree, he joined the HCMC General Film Studio (now known as Giai Phong Film Studio) and took on the job of filming Canh Dong Hoang in 1978.

His work on the war film won him the Best Cinematography award at the 5th Vietnamese Film Festival. After a long career with the studio, he retired in 1991. In June 2019, Ba was awarded the title of People’s Artist (nghệ sĩ nhân dân) by the Vietnamese government.

Duong Anh Tuyen, Ba’s son, told Thanh Nien that in the last few years of the cinematographer's life, he suffered from a variety of illnesses. At some point in the past weeks, he was admitted to a hospital with worsening symptoms. He passed away peacefully at home a few days later, surrounded by his family.

Duong Tuan Ba's wake was held at his house on the morning of June 3. He was cremated on June 4, after which his ashes were taken to Thanh Da to be with his wife's ashes.

[Photo via Nguoi Lao Dong]