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The Headmaster’s Wager is set in the Chinese community of Cholon, which was once a sister city to Saigon. Percival Chen is an English school headmaster and a compulsive gambler. We follow his adventures, loves, and losses over a period that spans from the Second World War, through the end of the French colonial era in Vietnam, into the closing chapters of the Vietnam War.Learn more about the book and author at Vincent Lam's website.
With various armies coming and going, political leaders shuffled like cards in a deck, and disaster or immense wealth often potentially just around the corner, people who lived through that era in Vietnam experienced the kinds of plot twists that most of us only witness in feature film. Vietnamese and Chinese, French and Americans were all torn between the forces of colonialism and independence, tradition and modernity, east and west, and finally capitalism and communism. This was the volatile mix of that era. The actors in the film adaptation of The Headmaster’s Wager should be able to portray these tensions. Many of the best actors now working in Asia will come to this intuitively – because the Asian cultural scene is actively grappling with these issues both in what it represents, and how it represents it.
Tony Leung will play my protagonist, Percival Chen. Tony will portray the kind of cool self-regard that allows a man to accept both his own temptations – and their fulfillment – with...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: The Headmaster's Wager.