Owl and the Sparrow

  • 99'
  • USA
  • 2007
A sensitive and social story set in present-day Saigon. The maker may be American (well, half - he has a Vietnamese mother), but he worked with an entirely Vietnamese crew and everything looks authentic in front of the camera too. The film follows a little girl who first walks out of a factory and later has to find her way out of an orphanage. During her flight, she makes friends with a young man who works in the zoo. He falls for a stewardess and the girl wants to help him make contact with her.
The strongest aspect of the film is the couleur locale. The film provides an accurate and vital picture of today's dynamic and slightly chaotic Vietnam. Significantly and promisingly for the changing situation there, the film maker was able to shoot his unembellished footage with permission from the authorities. The film was shot - guerrilla style, on a modest budget with 15 days shooting - in open locations so that a documentary street scene is the backdrop.
The film maker sources examples in the European social cinema, for instance that of the Belgian Dardenne brothers. He did not adopt their harsh social gaze, but their agile camera and their preference for the everyday, also in the choice of the actors. ( GjZ )

Director
Stephane Gauger
Premiere
World premiere
Countries of production
USA, Vietnam
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
99'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Cu va chim se se
Language
Vietnamese
Producers
Stephane Gauger, Pham Nghiem, Ham Tran, Timothy Bui
Production Companies
Annam Pictures, Chanh Phuong Phim
Sales
Annam Pictures
Screenplay
Stephane Gauger
Cinematography
Stephane Gauger
Editor
Ricardo Javier
Music
Pete Nguyen
Cast
Lan Cat ly, Pham Thi Han