A young man who struggles through life by earning some money with his bicycle-taxi in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) gets contact to a group of criminals. They introduce him to the mafia-world ... See full summary »
Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
A young man who struggles through life by earning some money with his bicycle-taxi in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) gets contact to a group of criminals. They introduce him to the mafia-world of drugs and crime. Written by
This is an astonishing film. It captures Vietnam as it transforms from a tightly controlled communist state to a free-market economy, with the poverty, crime, overcrowding and squalor in graphic detail. It must be one of the most dramatic portraits of Third World poverty ever put on film.
The story of a young man's descent and redemption goes back to 1930s Hollywood and the Italian neo-realists. But it is transformed by its setting in a Saigon hell-hole, and by the complexity of the characters. There are no stereotypes. Even the most vicious pimps and murderers have redeeming features. And an overall theme of a father's influence on his sons is distinctively Asian. The emigre Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran brings a cold, sharp yet loving eye to Saigon and Vietnam. One of the greatest films of the 1990s.
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