Tong Phuoc Phuc operates an orphanage in Nha Trang, central Viet Nam. He persuades expectant mothers from aborting with the promise of care and shelter. Operated as a sort of halfway house, unwed mothers living at the orphanage must care for the many young resident children until giving birth.
Blush of Fruit, the life inside an orphanage in Vietnam
Director Jakeb Anhvu makes an intimate portrait of the life inside the orphanage led by Tong Phuoc Phuc. The children who live there call him "Dad" and for the unwed mothers who raise them he is just “Uncle”. The modest interiors of the orphanage become an underworld inhabited by a handful of young women with postponed aspirations and whose lives were marked by what they call the "mistake" of getting pregnant without having planned it.
The young women raise about 13 very young children, up to 3 years of age, for whom the childhood oscillates between the confinement of cribs specially designed for the shelter and the games they play along with their female hosts. Meanwhile, the almost tacit figure of Tong Phuoc Phuc generates a gravitating authority and opinions that say that the orphanage, once born of his charity, now tends to be more of a business thanks to a major government grant.