// Presented as part of Filmatique's New Asian Voices II Series //
Spotlight on Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories
Phan Dang Di / 2015, Berlin, Hong Kong, Asean Film Festival, Bengaluru, Bogotá, Busan, Chicago, Goa, Kerala, Kolkata, Lima, Mill Valley, Minsk, Moscow, Nantes, Osaka, Riviera Maya, São Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Stockholm, Tel Aviv LGBT, Tokyo, Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Vancouver, Zurich / 102'
Saigon, early 2000s. Photography student Vu has just arrived from Vietnam's rural areas. He is immediately attracted to his handsome roommate Thang, who works odd jobs as a bouncer and low-level drug dealer. Entranced by the nocturnal rhythms of Thang's world, Vu follows him around the city where he meets Van, a ballet-cum-exotic dancer and Thang's sometimes-girlfriend. These three forlorn teenagers form an increasingly ambiguous friendship until one night a street fight breaks out, forcing them to flee the city. Having found solace in Vu's native village, they soon meet the wife Vu's father has chosen for him.
Phan Dang Di's atmospheric and visually opulent second film delivers a distinct but subtle portrait of adolescent sexuality, family relationships and the rise of capitalism in modernizing Vietnam. Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories premiered at Berlin, Hong Kong, Stockholm, São Paulo, Busan; and Nantes, where it won the Audience Award.
"Full of impeccably toned men in a seemingly constant state of homoerotic arousal, the pic, like numerous other Vietnamese festival entries, is more of an atmospheric mood piece — visually luxuriant, and oozing existential ennui"
- Maggie Lee, Berlin Review, Variety