Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories


Contemporary World Cinema

SIFF Says:

Set against the neon lights and sweltering slums of Saigon, Phan Dang Di’s follow-up to SIFF 2011 favorite BI, Don’t Be Afraid! deftly captures the confusion and ennui of Vietnamese youth at the turn of the millennium. Vu (Le Cong Hoang), a fisherman’s son in his twenties, is in town to study photography, and as he wanders through the city’s alleyways and along the banks of the Saigon River for inspiration and camera fodder, he finds himself longing for his male housemate, a bartender and low-level drug dealer by the name of Thang (Truong The Vinh). Enter Van (Do Thi Hai Yen, The Quiet American), a ballerina by day and a crack cocaine-addicted nightclub performer by night, who herself has feelings for Vu. As this sexually ambiguous trio drift through their youthful disillusionment, they are confronted with the cold slap of modernity and impending adulthood—personified by Vu’s traditional father back in the Mekong Delta—in an overpopulated land whose government pays good money for sterilization. Big Father, Small Father And Other Stories is a lush, unhurried hangout film that channels “early Wong-Kar Wai and Tsai Ming-Liang, mixed with a touch of French New Wave and Thai arthouse.” — Lee Marshall, “ScreenDaily”

Stranger Says:

A dreamy, meandering, pretty series of glances at a sexual triangle with connections from every point to every other, plus lots of ancillary people in Ho Chi Minh City in the '90s. I enjoyed watching all the young bodies entwined, especially the scenes shot in mud, but the movie felt as aimless as its characters. (BARLEY BLAIR)

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Film Credits
Phan Dang Di
Do Thi Hai Yen, Nguyen Ha Phong, Le Cong Hoang, Truong The Vinh, Mai Quoc Viet
SIFF 2015