With the brilliant Vietnamese summer as a setting Vertical Ray of the Sun is beautiful from beginning to end. The plot centres around three sisters, two of whom are happily married (or so ... See full summary »
Anh Hung Tran
Nu Yên-Khê Tran,
Nhu Quynh Nguyen,
A Vietnamese servant girl, Mui, observes lives within two different Saigon families: the first, a woman textile seller with three boys and a frequently absent husband; the second, a handsome young pianist with his fiancée.
Anh Hung Tran
Nu Yên-Khê Tran,
Man San Lu,
Thi Loc Truong
Wartime epic involving a poverty-stricken family who struggle to make ends meet, and the mother who does the unthinkable to provide her daughters with the traditional silk dresses required to attend school.
Thien Tu Tran,
Truong Ngoc Anh,
Khanh Quoc Nguyen
An American in Ho Chi Minh City looks for a daughter he fathered during the war. He meets Woody, a child who's a street vendor, and when Woody's case of wares disappears, he thinks the ... See full summary »
Set along the southern coast of Vietnam during the French occupation in the 1940s, water is everywhere, giving life and bringing decay and rot. Kim is 15; his father and step-mother have ... See full summary »
The Lu Le,
Thi Kieu Trinh Nguyen,
Huu Thanh Nguyen
Set in a breath-taking primitive landscape in the mountainous provinces of Vietnam, the film tells the story of a Hmong tribe girl named Pao. She was raised by her stepmother, for her real ... See full summary »
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 »
Anh Hung Tran
Le Van Loc,
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
Nu Yên-Khê Tran
It is the late nineties, Vietnam is in economic turmoil and overpopulation has sparked political concern. Vu, a photography student, arrives in the sprawling metropolis of Saigon and moves ... See full summary »
Dang Di Phan
Thi Hai Yen Do,
Ha Phong Nguyen,
Cong Hoang Le
In the spring of 2005, an old mother living in Hanoi receives a diary. The diary carries the notes of a young woman doctor who worked at a national liberation front hospital for two years ... See full summary »
A middle-aged man whose emotional and mental development ended at adolescence becomes obsessed with a guava tree in the yard of his former childhood home. When he is arrested trying sneak ... See full summary »
Dang Nhat Minh
Bài Bình Bui,
Lan Huong Nguyen,
Thu Thuy Pham
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
While one may argue that the ending is a little bit Hollywood, the movie itself is not. Featuring a stunning performance by ten-year-old Han Thi Pham, the movie stays with the viewer long after the credits roll.
I won't tell you the plot; there isn't much of one. The art of this movie is not so much about story as it is about human beings, their relationships with one another and how a little faith and a whole lot of belief can bring us all together.
There's not a wasted note here. The music, improbably an electric guitar, never overwhelms and is used with taste so rare with modern directors. You are invited to flow along with the story and live as if you are an onlooker on the streets of Saigon.
But all this wouldn't work without the brilliant understatement of its centerpiece, Han Thi Pham. Working without much expression, the actress uses her voice to convey emotion. The perfection and purity of her motives may seem suspect to many Westerners but in the setting of this story the result in at once sad and uplifting.
The script is crisp, the camera work utilitarian and the direction never more than what is needed. This is movie making the way it should be. It is a film perfect for repeat viewings, such is the depth of emotion and simple story-telling.
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