Synopsis by Chris Gore
Winner of an unprecedented three major awards at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival (including the Grand Jury, Audience and Cinematography awards), this first feature by 26-year-old Tony Bui is a poetic narrative about the "new" Vietnam, and is the first American independent film to be shot on location in that country. The film weaves three separate stories about four characters in Saigon and how their paths cross. In the first, a young Vietnamese woman is working for a reclusive writer who has lost his fingers to leprosy. As she sings, her master becomes infatuated with her and finds inspiration in her music, just as she finds inspiration in his words. Their union in one of song, love, friendship and aid. Second is Hai, a cyclo driver who falls for a young prostitute with high ambitions. After saving her from a few hostile clients, she lets him drive her around. Eventually Hai enters a cyclo race in hopes of winning enough money to spend one night with his beloved. Finally, a young boy named Woody sells gum, watches and lighters to passers-by in the streets. In a bar he meets an American soldier (played by Harvey Keitel) who is searching for his missing daughter. When Woody suspects the G.I. of stealing his suitcase, he goes looking. What he finds is best left unanswered.
daughter, inspiration, leprosy, prostitute/prostitution, rebuilding, rickshaw, soldier, transition, Vietnam, war-torn, culture [social culture]
High Artistic Quality