Má Sài Gòn
About halfway through Má Sài Gòn we hear a conversation about how filmmakers always get Vietnam’s LBTQ scene wrong, trading on clichés and caricatures. Vietnamese Canadian filmmaker Khoa Lê took the time to immerse himself in the culture and sees that we do too. The movie unfolds as a series of vignettes, portraits of queer and trans folks forging relationships in a conservative but rapidly evolving society.
Director Khoa Lê’s lyrical journey through what’s now known as Ho Chi Minh City paints a portrait of the myriad ways queer and trans love blooms. A trans woman with flowers in her hair talks of her dawn dates with a new beau; a bickering lesbian couple call each other Mommy and Daddy; a surrogate mother to a house of queer and trans young adults chides her many garment-makers into opening savings accounts. The long conversations into inhabitants’ lives are interspersed with colourful poetry, melodies and music to create a rich, shimmering tapestry.
VS Wells, Georgia Straight
A dreaminess that recalls the visionary work of Hong Kong moviemaker Wong Kar-wai.
Maurie Alioff, Northern Stars
In Vietnamese with English subtitles
Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director, DOXA Film Festival
Jonathan Bernier, Khoa Lê
Isabelle Daveau, Ariane Pétel-Despots, Khoa Lê
Marie-Hélène L. Delorme
Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island. Its powder-white beaches and lush forests have made it one of Asia’s hottest new tourist destinations. But for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, it is more akin to a battlefield.
Black History Month: Short Film Showcase
The four short films in this program range from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama. These films explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.