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  • Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories

    Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories


    After “Bi, don’t be afraid”, I was under the impression that Phan Dang Di's insular artistic vision could eventually weigh down his works, boasting a sense of detachment and lack of emotional stout. Though my expectation is not entirely subverted, this time, Mekong Stories strikes me as a deliberate exercise in capturing reality in its bare disorientation and chaos. The film feels episodic as it acknowledges itself as a slice of life, that of a continuous reality existing before and…

  • The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter


    As someone from the other side, I was completely baffled when people refer to Dear Hunter as a quintessential film on Vietnam war. I don't find it to be offensive, no, but it's fair to regard it either as a drama using Vietnam war as a narrative backdrop, or a failed attempt at propaganda. I understand the filmmaker's effort at delivering an anti-war message, but doing so by reducing Vietcongs into one-dimensional villains throwing grenades gratuitiously at their own people…