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Having opened Flare in 2014 with his acclaimed debut Lilting, Hong Khaou returns to the festival with this poignant meditation on cultural displacement.

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Dir-Scr Hong Khaou
Prod Tracy O’Riordan
With Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers
UK Distribution Peccadillo Pictures

Returning to Vietnam for the first time since his family fled to England when he was six years old, Kit scouts Ho Chi Minh City (still referred to as Saigon by most of the locals) for an appropriate location to scatter his parents’ ashes. Unable to speak the language and with scant memories of his early childhood, Kit feels distant from the family members he meets as he awaits the arrival of his brother from London. Only a tentative romance with Lewis, an African-American designer, offers Kit a much-needed sense of comfort. Behind the bustle and commotion of the city, Khaou’s elegiac character study is a film of stillness and quiet introspection, driven by Henry Golding’s tender portrayal of a man endeavouring to reconnect with the place he once called home.

Michael Blyth

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