Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories
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    Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories

    Cha và con và

    Directed by

    Vietnam, France, Germany, Netherlands


    102 min

    • Vietnamese


    Berlin IFF - Competition

    Saigon in the late nineties. Photography student Vu rents a room in a shared flat. With his brand-new camera, a gift from his father, he explores the people, places and things around him. He is particularly fascinated by his flatmate Thang, a charismatic young man who is at home amongst drug dealers, gamblers and prostitutes in the nightlife of Saigon. Thang introduces Vu to the nightclub dancer Van and they have sex, even though Vu feels more attracted to his friend. One day, another flatmate, a street singer, is mugged. When Vu and Thang hurry to his rescue, they are chased and eventually forced to flee to Vu's village in the Mekong Delta, where his father introduces him to his prospective wife. But Vu has little interest in the girl and instead watches with jealousy as Thang flirts with her ... A magical love story against the backdrop of tabooed homosexuality and state-sanctioned intrusion into the private sphere. Phan Dang Di uses images from nature and the landscape of the swampy and impenetrable jungles of the Mekong as metaphors for emotional worlds and mental states.


    Labels & Line Ups


    Do Thi Hai Yen
    Nguyen Ha Phong
    Le Cong Hoang
    Truong The Vinh
    Mai Quoc Viet
    Le Van Hoang
    Nguyen Thi Kieu Trinh
    Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc
    Nguyen Thien Tu
    Chau The Tam
    Phan Dang Di
    Nguyen K’Linh
    Julie Béziau
    Lilian Tran
    Ton Nu Diem Trinh


    A lethargic masculinity-in-crisis drama about mopey (but beautiful) youngsters.

    Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

    The film's real star is the burnished, exquisitely composed cinematography by Nguyen K’Linh, which exudes a wet, sticky sensuality.

    Maggie Lee, Variety

    Big Father is shot through with desire and nostalgia, and it does capture something about an age of freedom without responsibility, when anything seems possible.

    Lee Marshall, Screen Daily

    A visually opulent and highly atmospheric mood piece.

    Patrick Gamble, Cine-Vue

    Phan Dang Di

    Phan Dang Di


    I see that sometimes my characters are so stubborn. They don’t follow my lead, they act as if they were living in real life: unusually, meaninglessly, instinctively.

    Born in 1976 in Vietnam, Phan Dang Di teaches screenwriting at Hanoi National University. He graduated from Hanoi University of Cinema and Theatre. His first feature film, BI, DON’T BE AFRAID! (2010) won both the ACID and SACD Awards at Cannes and was screened in 50 international film festivals. His short, WHEN I AM 20 (2006) screened in competition at Venice 2008. His other short, LOTUS (2005), won a Special Award at the Vietnam National Short FFF and was selected at Clermont-Ferrand. He wrote the screenplay for the feature ADRIFT (2009) by Bui Thac Chuyen, which won the FIPRESCI Award in Venice. His feature BIG FATHER, SMALL FATHER AND OTHER STORIES (2015) screened in competion at Berlin IFF.

    Selected Filmography