The Retired General

A savage indictment of the greed and materialism overtaking postwar Vietnam, this 1988 adaptation of Nguyen Huy Thiep's controversial short story of the same title, directed by Nguyen Khac Loi, is a grim satire laced with black humor that recalls some of the Mexican comedies of Luis Buñuel. An army general retires and comes home to find a social landscape coarsened by self-interest and debauchery, not to mention a mad wife who believes the war's still going on. A characteristic detail: the general's daughter-in-law buys human placentas from the local hospital to feed her dogs.

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