‘So much of what we built in the West is contingent on forgetting some of our past traumas’
— Hong Khaou
DATE: Tuesday 10 March 2020
LOCATION: New Farm Cinemas
Country United Kingdom
Language English & Vietnamese
Director Hong Khaou
Run Time 85min
Cast Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers
Awards & Screenings BFI London Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Mardi Gras Film Festival
Kit (Henry Golding) arrives in Vietnam ahead of his older brother to search out a meaningful place to scatter their parents’ ashes. It's a country Kit last knew as a six-year-old boy when his family fled to England as ‘boat refugees’ in the turbulent aftermath of the American-Vietnam war. He barely recognises Ho Chi Minh City now and grapples with a growing sense of cultural dislocation made all the worse by the fact that he has forgotten how to speak the language. Kit arranges an on-line date with Lewis (Parker Sawyers), a handsome and sensitive African American clothes designer whose father fought in the American-Vietnam war. Despite some initial tension over their parents’ opposing roles in the conflict, a romance sparks between them and Lewis introduces Kit to the more vibrant and contemporary parts of the city.
Monsoon, (the directors follow up second feature to Lilting) is a rich and poignant reflection on the struggle for identity in a place where the past weighs heavily on the present. By tackling the personal and political legacies that have shaped them, they can start to write an exciting new chapter in their lives.