A child's resilience and the kindness of strangers. Thuy is 10, an orphan, working in her uncle's factory outside Saigon. He berates her constantly, so she runs away to Saigon. Over five days, we watch her survive on the streets selling flowers, while her uncle looks for her. She encounters Hai, a reserved zoo-keeper whose fiancée has jilted him. She also sells a flower to Lan, a flight attendant in the city for a layover, unlucky in love, who buys dinner for Thuy and offers her a place to stay that night. Thuy, who thinks of Lan as a sparrow and Hai as an owl, determines to bring them together. If she succeeds, then what; and what about her uncle? Written by
influenced by nouvelle vague but all together something else refreshing
As I apprehensively waited these last few years to watch this film, I realize how unfair I've become based on fear of an all too familiar let down by another filmmaker, who, for the most part by and - as large as our tiny community is - create such derivative cinematic tripe of obvious contrivance that's usually riddled with unapologetic bias. After watching this film, I was not only blown away by the exquisite lighting and bold composition, but also was mesmerized by the beautiful story that seemed to be exploring the oftentimes insidious nature of power and the hero's who refuse to be victimized by it.
The Owl And The Sparrows wonderful characters triumph in the end and the subtle journalism of contemporary Vietnam demands the critical viewer to think beyond the happy ending, to listen for the barely audible sounds of change and to embrace what is inherently true.
Stephane Gauger should be added to the small list of great directors.
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